SPOKANE, Wash.—Two not-for-profit healthcare organizations are forming a new company with more than 300 physicians—but they're stressing that this is not a merger or acquisition deal. The Group Health Cooperative and Providence Health Care are forming a new limited-liability corporation under which “both organizations will work together in innovative ways to improve the overall delivery of healthcare services in Spokane,” according to a joint news release. “By improving coordination and communication among caregivers who utilize the best evidence-based medicine, we will be able to improve quality,” Mike Wilson, Providence Health Care Eastern Washington chief executive, said in the release. The organization will include 132 primary-care physicians “at the center of the integrated group,” according to the release, who will “serve as medical homes for patients throughout the region.” Care will also be coordinated among area urgent-care centers as well as at 644-bed Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (which includes Sacred Heart Children's Hospital) and 182-bed Providence Holy Family Hospital. Both are in Spokane. Providence spokesman Joe Robb said there also will be 170 specialists and 93 nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Leadership of the organization hasn't been determined yet, Robb said. When the organization starts up in January 2013, it will serve Providence employees and Group Health patients whose providers practice with Providence Medical Group, Group Health or Columbia Medical Associates clinics, according to the release.
Regional News/West: Not-for-profit organizations join to create 300-physician company, and other news
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.—As many as six practices in the Grand Junction area will participate in a pilot program to integrate behavioral health and primary care and test the application of global payment methodologies. The effort will be funded by the Colorado Health Foundation and will use the payment system of Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Other organizations participating are the Collaborative Family Healthcare Association and the University of Colorado School of Medicine's family medicine department. Disincentives for collaboration between primary-care and behavioral-health providers exist under the current healthcare system's design, according to a news release from the Colorado Beacon Consortium, of which Rocky Mountain Health Plans is a partner. One of the pilot program's goals, according to the release, is to “disrupt old business models in healthcare.” “This is not an academic exercise,” Patrick Gordon, program director for the Colorado Beacon Consortium, said in the release. “This will be a transformative pilot that is being built with the goal of replicating success across the country.” The consortium is a healthcare quality-improvement organization with representation from four Western Colorado not-for-profit organizations, including Rocky Mountain Health Plans. Gordon added that the aim is to “implement value-based, non-fee-for-service payments” for integration that will better support “behavior changes that are critical to improved outcomes.”
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