The Council of Accountable Physician Practices (CAPP), an affiliate of the American Medical Group Association (AMGA), was founded in 2002 by Francis J. Crosson, MD. At the time, Dr. Crosson was the founding Executive Director of The Permanente Federation, the national organization of the Permanente Medical Groups at Kaiser Permanente.


As an active member of the AMGA board, Dr. Crosson and the leaders of other prominent multispecialty medical groups often compared experiences and realized that their organizations shared many values, including a commitment to systems improvement in health care, physician leadership, the willingness to embrace accountability for delivering quality care and for being stewards of healthcare resources. They all believed that organized physician group practices are uniquely positioned to affect change in the American healthcare system. They had a story to tell and a deep knowledge base to share with policymakers and others in health care.


To that end, Dr. Crosson and the physician leaders of Group Health Permanente, Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group, HealthCare Partners Medical Group, HealthPartners, Henry Ford Medical Group, Austin Regional Clinic, The Cleveland Clinic, The Lahey Clinic and Virginia Mason formed the initial nucleus of the Council of Accountable Physician Practices. Since that first formation, additional high-performing health systems have joined CAPP and have been valuable contributors to the mission. Together, our groups work to foster the development and recognition of accountable physician-led multispecialty medical groups and health systems as models for transforming the healthcare system.
In 2012, Dr. Robert Pearl, CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, assumed the role of Chairman of the CAPP board Under the leadership of Dr. Pearl, CAPP continues to support the new “accountable care movement” through its research and communications activities. However, the vision and mission of CAPP have changed under Dr. Pearl’s leadership to reflect the new healthcare landscape and provide the framework for the future activities of the Council.

CAPP has sponsored research with academic luminaries such as Elliot Fisher (who has been credited for coining the term “accountable care organizations” based on his work with CAPP’s “accountable physician practices”), Steve Shortell, Alain Enthoven, and Lawrence Casalino, among others, to explore how a physician-group organization model impacts healthcare outcomes. CAPP member groups also participate in numerous studies to define what organizational characteristics work best and have the most potential to be replicated, and work together to more broadly communicate the benefits of our model to consumers, media and policymakers through publications and internet strategies.

Since CAPP’s founding, the understanding of how the delivery system matters in the quality and cost of health care has grown dramatically. This improved understanding and the desire to shift providers away from the traditional, fragmented health care model toward a more organized and integrated system was reflected in the delivery system reform measures of the Affordable Care Act.

The CAPP groups’ medical directors are active leaders who continue to make major contributions to quality improvement achievements, national and state policy development, and employer-focused healthcare strategies. Many of them are on the boards of and provide guidance to influential organizations such as the National Commission on Quality Assurance (NCQA), Institute of Healthcare Improvement (IHI), The National Quality Forum (NQF), The Group Practice Improvement Network (GPIN), The Institute of Medicine (IOM), The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and others.

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