A task force representing healthcare interests in Pennsylvania's five-county Delaware Valley region asked Gov. Thomas Ridge last week to designate the area as a managed-care demonstration site.
The task force presented its proposal at a "Call to Action Conference" convened to identify and promote opportunities for regional cooperation. The task force seeks to develop a regional healthcare system.
"We ought to learn how to share across county lines," said John C. McMeekin, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Crozer-Keystone Health System in Media, Pa., and a task force member.
The task force asked the governor to approve a three-year demonstration giving providers flexibility and funding to pursue specific objectives. These include studying the feasibility of developing a community health information network, conducting a community-needs assessment, creating an employment/retraining plan to respond to layoffs and exploring a Medicare managed-care waiver.
Participants plan to seek waivers of laws and regulations that might impede their objectives.
The task force also called on the governor to provide $50,000 in state funding, to be matched by $75,000 in partnership money, to cover the partnership's administrative costs. And it asked for $100,000 in state matching dollars to pursue the community-needs assessment.