New Hampshire Blues, Dartmouth-Hitchcock move toward ACO

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Hampshire and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center have created a pilot program that could eventually lead to the creation of a full-fledged accountable care organization (ACO news), reports Healthcare Finance News.

As part of the program, Lebanon, N.H.-based Dartmouth-Hitchcock will manage both the cost and quality of care for a specific number of Anthem enrollees. The intent is to decrease costs, and eventually premiums. Data from the pilot will be closely analyzed by both the hospital and insurer.

"We view this as another of our steps toward changing the way healthcare is delivered," said Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health President Thomas A. Colacchio, MD. "The concept is to bring together the hospital, the physician group practice, and the insurance carrier all with the same goal--to provide high quality, cost-effective care to those we serve."

Anthem and Dartmouth-Hitchcock have engaged in or are currently working on other quality-of-care initiatives. Neither party released a timeline for creating an ACO.

New Hampshire is considered by many to be the official home of the ACO concept. Professors at the Dartmouth Medical School are among ACO pioneers. The New Hampshire Citizens Initiative has also been an early supporter of ACOs.

For more:
- read the Healthcare Finance News article
- read the press release