St. Joseph's Hospital in Savannah, Ga., has formed an integrated healthcare delivery system with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, a group of physicians and a local business coalition.
The network, which has been named Healthcare Partners of Southeast Georgia, is expected to offer HMO and PPO products to local employers in the five-county Savannah area, executives said.
Healthcare Partners will compete with a similar organization created two years ago called Georgia Healthcare Partnership, which is affiliated with Savannah's largest hospital, 519-bed Memorial Medical Center.
Georgia Healthcare covers 38,000 people under its HMO-styled plan, said Bob Hallock, the organization's president and chief executive officer.
A Blues spokesman said it has similar networks in Atlanta and Columbus. But the Savannah partnership is different than other Blues networks and Georgia Healthcare because each of the four organizations will share ownership and governance, said Scott Evelyn, vice president for the Blues and the partnership's CEO.
Mr. Hallock said Georgia Healthcare is moving toward an equity model with its physicians and business partners.
Under Healthcare Partners' arrangement, providers will be paid based on capitated and discounted rates. The four partner groups will share in the profits, Mr. Evelyn said.
In Savannah, BlueChoice Healthcare Plan, the HMO, will begin enrollment early next year, and BlueChoice PPO will begin enrollment Dec. 1.
St. Joseph's is a 285-bed Roman Catholic hospital sponsored by the Baltimore-based Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The Savannah Business Group represents about 20 companies and 35,000 employees. The Blues, the state's largest insurer, has about 1.2 million enrollees.