Iowa Health System is changing name to UnityPoint Health

DES MOINES, Iowa, April 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Iowa Health System, the nation's fifth largest non-denominational health system, is now UnityPoint Health (, a new name that reflects the way its hospitals, physicians and home care entities are transforming health care delivery through patient-centered coordinated care. This overall system name also includes the former Iowa Health Physicians & Clinics – now UnityPoint Clinic, and Iowa Health Home Care – now UnityPoint at Home and UnityPoint Hospice.

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The new name and brand logo were unveiled to system leaders and employees on April 16 at UnityPoint's Leadership Symposium, an annual event designed to bring its leaders together to learn and discover innovations in the delivery of health care. This change symbolizes the health system's move from being hospital-centric to a patient-centered organization focusing on care coordination.

"Over the years, we've developed our team-based approach and expanded our services to become a point of unity for patient care," said Bill Leaver, UnityPoint Health CEO. "Our new brand is an expression of our promise to patients. We will work together as an organization to transform the previous care silos into a full continuum of care. We want to meet the health needs of people before they become patients in addition to serving patient needs in a timely, convenient and coordinated manner."

The doctors, specialists and home care providers of UnityPoint Health are providing coordinated care that is improving outcomes for patients in both quantitative and qualitative ways. For example, at UnityPoint Health – Dubuque, which is one of the eight geographic regions within UnityPoint Health, UnityPoint at Home has developed a new approach to home care that is reducing hospital admissions. By bringing together home health nurses, case managers and unit coordinators to plan patient care, UnityPoint Health reduced admissions of its home care patients to its Finley Hospital from 27 percent in 2011 to 17.7 percent in 2012.

"People want better value in their healthcare – consumers, payers, government and employers.  We have been working hard to deliver that better health system. While the name of our organization will change to reflect our focus on integrated care coordination, UnityPoint Health will continue to deliver the best outcome for every patient, every time," Leaver said. "It's our mission and commitment to create better care for our patients, their families and our communities."

Two more examples of how UnityPoint Health is promoting coordinated care are evident:

UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge has formed a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Pioneer Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Over the past 11 months, the ACO has reduced 30-day hospital readmission by 43 percent.

UnityPoint Health – Cedar Rapids, as a participant in the system's Medicare Shared Savings Program, implemented an Emergency Department Consistent Care Program in January 2012 and has reduced emergency department visits at St. Luke's Hospital from 1,377 in 2011 to 438 in 2012, a decrease of 68 percent.

Dr. Alan Kaplan, president and CEO of UnityPoint Clinic and senior vice president and Chief Clinical Officer of UnityPoint Health, said "For the patient, care coordination is much more than a physician making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment at a moment in time. It means having a doctor who leads a team to help the patient over the time it takes to get well and stay well. It sounds simple, and from the patient perspective it should be. The challenge for organizations is to transform from the traditional way of delivering health care to one in which everyone is truly aligned and focused on what really matters—you.  UnityPoint Health is doing that."

The change to become UnityPoint Health follows several years of discussions and innovative pilots between the organization's regional affiliates, board of directors, physician leadership and management teams regarding health care changes and how to best position the organization for the future. The strategic plan of UnityPoint Health is focused on a new care coordination model and organizational growth. There will be no change in management, structure or staff involved in this brand change. Overall, UnityPoint Health employs more than 24,000 individuals throughout Iowa and Illinois, and each region will maintain its existing leadership and local boards of directors.

UnityPoint Health began in Des Moines in 1993, when Iowa Methodist and Iowa Lutheran merged to form Iowa Health System. At the time, the merger created Iowa's largest provider of hospital and related health services. Since then UnityPoint Health has grown to encompass eight major geographic regions in Iowa and Illinois, and includes UnityPoint Clinic and UnityPoint at Home.

Today, UnityPoint Health is one of the nation's most integrated health systems. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 29 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and home care services throughout its eight regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa and Illinois. The eight regions within UnityPoint Health (named after the largest city within that region) are: Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque, Fort Dodge, Peoria, the Quad Cities, Sioux City, and Waterloo.

About UnityPoint Health

UnityPoint Health is one of the nation's most integrated health systems. Our physician-led team of professionals communicates clearly and effectively to address a patient's health care in the most appropriate setting: whether that is a clinic, a hospital or at home. Through relationships with more than 280 physician clinics, 29 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and home care services throughout its 8 regions, UnityPoint Health provides care throughout Iowa and Illinois.

UnityPoint Health entities employ more than 24,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to deliver the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time. Each year, through more than 4 million patient visits, UnityPoint Health, UnityPoint Clinic and UnityPoint at Home provides a full range of coordinated care to patients and families. With annual revenues of $2.7 billion, UnityPoint Health is the nation's 15th largest nonprofit health system and the fifth largest nondenominational health system in America.

UnityPoint Health provides community benefit programs and services to improve the health of people in its communities.

About UnityPoint Clinic

UnityPoint Clinic is an integrated network of primary care and specialty physicians and clinics providing quality health care services to patients and communities in Iowa and Illinois. With nearly 900 physicians and providers at more than 280 clinic locations, UnityPoint Clinic specializes in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, OB/GYN, surgery, cardiology, and a wide variety of additional specialty services. Part of UnityPoint Health, the nation's fifth largest nondenominational health system, UnityPoint Clinic works with affiliated hospitals and home health services to provide patient-centered, coordinated care.

About UnityPoint at Home

UnityPoint at Home is an integrated home health services provider serving patients and communities in Iowa and Illinois. Part of UnityPoint Health, the nation's fifth largest nondenominational health system, UnityPoint at Home works together with its affiliated physicians and hospitals to coordinate the services, support and education necessary for patients to continue their care at home. Services include adult and pediatric nursing care, rehabilitation therapy, personal care and home support, infusion therapy, respiratory therapy, palliative care, hospice and home medical equipment services. For more information about UnityPoint at Home, or to find a location near you, visit