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HMA, Florida Blue plan to launch ACO

By Rachel Landen
Posted: May 2, 2013 - 1:15 pm ET

Health Management Associates, Naples, Fla., and Florida Blue, Florida's Blue Cross and Blue Shield company, will form an accountable care organization to serve patients in Brevard County, Fla.

HMA's physicians, along with two of its hospitals—115-bed Wuesthoff Medical Center-Melbourne and 291-bed Wuesthoff Medical Center-Rockledge—will operate the ACO with Florida Blue.

“This partnership with Florida Blue is designed to ensure that employers and individuals receive value through improved health and lower costs,” Alan Levine, senior VP of Health Management and president of its Florida group of 23 hospitals, said in a news release. Through its subsidiaries, Health Management operates 71 hospitals nationwide.

“Accountable care models like this reduce the fragmentation of care and provide incentives to increase care coordination, to improve patient outcomes, and to lower cost,” Pat Geraghty, chairman and CEO of Florida Blue, said in the release.

Partnering with hospitals to participate in the accountable care program is not a new move for the health insurer. In February, Florida Blue and Cleveland Clinic Florida, Weston, signed a letter of intent to create an accountable care arrangement. In December of last year, Florida Blue announced agreements with three other healthcare organizations—Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Fla.; Holy Cross Physician Partners, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and NCH Healthcare System, Naples, Fla.—to form ACOs.

Follow Rachel Landen on Twitter: @MHrlanden

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