Thomas Foels

Thomas J. Foels, M.D., MMM

Executive Vice President, Chief Medical Officer

As chief medical officer of Independent Health, Thomas J. Foels is responsible for the development, implementation and management of medical management initiatives, health care policies and resource utilization. Dr. Foels has oversight of the company’s medical directors and the practice management and pharmacy departments. He supports and consults with many other departments, including health care services, provider networks and relations, network reimbursement, case and disease management, credentialing and information management.

Dr. Foels ensures members receive the highest quality care by providing clinical leadership and expertise. He also collaborates with other areas within the company to manage the medical cost trend, which plays a key role in providing affordable, quality health care.

Dr. Foels leads numerous initiatives and programs designed to improve the quality and value of care, such as Practice Excellence (Independent Health’s nationally recognized pay-for-performance program) and Patient-Centered Medical Home (a coordinated and comprehensive health care delivery model). Recently, Dr. Foels was named to the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Physician Practice Connections - Patient Centered Medical Home (PCC®-PCMH) Advisory Committee as the nation’s only health plan representative. He also served as the co-chair for the Health Plan Association of New York State Medical Director Advisory Committee and is the co-chair for the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) Chief Medical Officers national forum.

Dr. Foels has over 30 years of experience in health care management. Prior to joining Independent Health, Dr. Foels was in private practice as a pediatrician, and founded Western New York’s two largest pediatric group practices -- Williamsville Pediatric Center and Tonawanda Pediatrics.

Dr. Foels received his bachelor’s degree from Canisius College, his medical degree from the University of Rochester, and his master's degree in medical management from Tulane University, where he continues as a faculty member for the program. He completed his residency program in pediatrics at Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo.