Healthcare Business News

Suburban Chicago practices expand joint venture

By Andrew L. Wang, Crain's Chicago Business
Posted: February 25, 2014 - 12:00 pm ET

Illinois Health Partners, a joint venture of Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare and DuPage Medical Group, is adding 500 members of Northwest Community Hospital's medical staff to the partnership.

The affiliation deal will plug Arlington Heights, Ill.-based Northwest Community into a broad network of about 1,800 physicians serving 110,000 HMO patients in Chicago's west and northwest suburbs.

quality, value and access to as many patients as possible,” DuPage Medical CEO Michael Kasper said.

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Through the agreement, the 496-bed hospital stands to gain patients it otherwise would not have been able to serve, a boon in an era of declining demand for inpatient services.

“This partnership is an important opportunity and will allow (Northwest Community) to remain independent while growing as a competitive, efficient and high-quality system of care,” CEO Stephen Scogna said in statement. “This alliance helps to enhance our partnership with physicians, expand the resources available to our HMO patients, and better manage our community's health and associated costs.”

Care coordination and clinical integration efforts are in vogue at the moment, as payment for care from both government and private payers shifts from traditional fee-for-service models to reimbursement based on quality outcomes. These relatively novel payment models reward hospitals and doctors for keeping patients healthy and preventing costly in patient care.

Illinois Health Partners manages care for HMO patients in Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Illinois' HMO Illinois and Blue Advantages plans, as well as HMO plans offered by Humana Inc. Generally HMO plans pay providers a flat fee per month for each patient. The model aims to control costs by incentivizing hospitals and doctors to provide less care.

Terms of the affiliation deal were not disclosed.

“We're proud to be partnering with (Northwest Community) as we all work together to improve the quality of care patients receive and control costs in this era of health care reform,” Edward-Elmhurst CEO Pam Davis said in the statement.

“The growing number of high-quality physicians and facilities in the IHP network will allow us to reach the ultimate goal of IHP, to offer a better health care experience for patients — one that enhances quality, value and access to as many patients as possible,” DuPage Medical CEO Michael Kasper said.

Illinois Health Partners adds Northwest Community doctors originally appeared on the Crain's Chicago Business website.

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