Abington Health, Aria Health and Einstein Healthcare Network announced today the development of a new initiative that will enable the three health systems to work collaboratively while remaining independent as they prepare for the demands of national health reform.
“In our region and across the country, health care reform is dramatically changing how healthcare services are offered to patients”
The three systems will work together initially to jointly manage the health care benefit plans of the systems' employees and their families, approximately 30,000 people. Longer term, the goal of the initiative is to establish a platform to improve care delivery throughout the community for individuals and families and improve the health of populations through highly coordinated and efficient care.
"In our region and across the country, health care reform is dramatically changing how healthcare services are offered to patients," said Barry R. Freedman, President and CEO, Einstein Healthcare Network.
"Forward-thinking healthcare providers are developing new models and new collaborations with like-minded peers to tackle the challenges of reform and other industry trends that are transforming health care from a fragmented system based on fee-for-service reimbursement to a coordinated, collaborative system focused on the prevention of disease and management of chronic illness."
The new initiative is a key first step in modeling the future of health care delivery with its focus on "population health management" across broad regions.
"Population health management calls on caregivers to consistently offer efficient, effective, high-quality care and anticipate - instead of respond to - the health needs of patients," said Kathleen Kinslow, President and CEO of Aria Health.
"This new approach, which we will offer first to our employees and their families, is built on care coordination, proactive interventions that prevent illness and collaboration with an array of community resources."
Innovative health systems are taking a variety of approaches to pursuing population health management while maintaining their independence. These include the formation of Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs), clinical integration between hospital systems and physician group practices as well as hospital collaboratives. As of January, there were more than 400 ACOs sponsored by commercial payors or Medicare, for example. While the forms differ, these structures enable otherwise independent provider groups to work together to improve the quality of care and manage costs more effectively.
Planning already underway