SOURCE: The Camden Group

The Camden Group

January 07, 2010 13:36 ET

The Camden Group Expands Services and Offices in Response to Expected Healthcare Reform

Firm Bolsters Expertise in Clinical Integration and Accountable Care Organizations With Hiring of SVP and New East Coast Division

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - January 7, 2010) - The Camden Group, one of the nation's leading healthcare business advisory firms, today announced that it is further expanding its services and geographic reach by adding another senior vice president to its team of advisors, and opening a new office on the East coast.

To meet the growing needs of clients to find innovative ways to improve healthcare quality and manage costs, the firm has hired James R. Smith, MBA, FACHE to head its new division based in New York. A former senior executive at Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association ("GRIPA"), Smith will head The Camden Group's advisory services in clinical integration and the development of accountable care organizations.

"Jim Smith is one of the nation's leading experts in developing accountable care organizations and helping healthcare entities achieve clinical integration," said Steve Valentine, president of The Camden Group. "He is an innovative thought leader in the healthcare industry with a proven track record of success. His broad leadership and experience with health plans and physician, hospital and payer collaborations, adds new depth to our services offering and will help our clients better respond to the expected changes resulting from healthcare reform."

This recent expansion follows The Camden Group's announcement late last fall that it has strengthened its expertise in the tech and bio/pharma sector with the hiring of senior vice president Ronald Van Horssen. At that time, the firm also announced that it has expanded its hospital operations improvement division with the hiring of vice presidents Frank Flosman, MBA, and Bonnie Barndt-Maglio, R.N., Ph.D., in its Chicago office.

"I am very pleased to join The Camden Group and its strong team," said James R. Smith. "I am thrilled to have this opportunity to help revolutionize the healthcare landscape with a team of noted professionals and clients across the country. In my new role, I look forward to using the expertise and knowledge I have gained from my hospital, health system and health plan experience, to make a real impact on improving healthcare delivery at the local level."

Prior to joining The Camden Group, Smith led the integration of two health plans into the second largest division of a large regional Blue Cross Blue Shield, resulting in significant growth in both revenue and profits. While at GRIPA, Smith developed governance as well as operating structures to manage an integrated healthcare network formed by three physician organizations and four hospitals.

The Camden Group also announced that Eric Nielsen, M.D. will be joining Smith in the newly established New York office as a senior medical advisor. Dr. Nielsen assumed the post of Chief Medical Officer at GRIPA in 2004 and will maintain his role there as he provides medical advisory services for The Camden Group and its clients. Dr. Nielsen played a critical role in championing GRIPA's efforts toward successfully achieving clinical integration.

About The Camden Group

With offices in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, The Camden Group is one of the nation's leading healthcare advisory firms. The firm provides a broad array of healthcare consulting services in areas ranging from strategic and business planning and financial advisory and compliance, to hospital operations improvement and hospital/physician alignment. Since its founding in 1970, The Camden Group has advised more than 1,000 hospitals, medical groups, outpatient facilities, and other healthcare organizations nationwide. For more information, visit us online at