Healthcare Business News

Florida Blue, healthcare system team for accountable care organization

By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: December 11, 2012 - 12:00 pm ET

NCH Healthcare System, Naples, Fla., will participate in an accountable care program with Florida Blue, the state's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company.

In its first year, the accountable care organization will use a "value-based payment structure" and will include only Florida Blue members in the Naples market, but it is expected to expand in the future, according to a Florida Blue news release.

"Both organizations realize the importance of moving away from the fee-for-service model to one that focuses on quality outcomes and cost containment," Dr. Jonathan Gavras, Florida Blue senior vice president and chief medical officer, said in the release.

NCH Healthcare includes the two-campus, 681-bed NCH Downtown Naples Hospital, and it recently joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network.

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"Our patients, families, and community will all benefit by using evidence-based medicine while avoiding unnecessary emergency room visits, hospital admissions, tests and procedures," Dr. Allen Weiss, NCH president and CEO, said in the release.

Last week, Anthem Blue Cross announced it was expanding its ACO network via care-coordination programs with providers in Southern California, and it launched a new primary-care initiative with six large physician groups in Virginia.

Other payers also are aligning themselves with local providers in ACO arrangements. Aetna on Tuesday announced that it is partnering with Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions in Michigan on an initiative to cut costs and improve quality in cancer care, and last month the Hartford, Conn.-based insurer entered in to an agreement with the Baylor Health Care System in Dallas to coordinate Medicare managed-care enrollees being seen by doctors in the Baylor ACO.

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