Anthem Blue Cross, Sharp Community Medical Group and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers to Collaborate on New Accountable Care Or

SAN DIEGO, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross, Sharp Community Medical Group and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers today announced they are collaborating on a pilot program designed to provide coordinated, seamless medical care to select Anthem PPO members through an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The hallmark of this ACO approach, offered in San Diego, is a focus on high-quality care and collaboration among physicians and the health plan to improve health outcomes, patient satisfaction and value.

Under a traditional PPO plan, patients may choose to receive care from many physicians from different provider networks. Under this new ACO arrangement, there will be strong emphasis on coordination of care among all the health care providers involved in the ACO initiative, which includes an enhanced focus on preventive care and chronic care management.

The ACO pilot program is being offered to select Anthem Blue Cross small group, large group and individual commercial PPO members in the San Diego region where Sharp Community Medical Group and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers physicians are based. The members are included in the program if they have received the majority of their medical care from these same treating physicians in the past, so there is already a strong physician-patient relationship. In most cases the member's dependents will also be included in the program. Through the ACO, the physician becomes a true partner in working with the patient on his/her overall care.

"Individuals who receive coordinated, patient-centered care through an informed collaborative partnership with their physicians can more effectively manage their health care needs," said Pam Kehaly, president of Anthem Blue Cross. "This integrated team collectively takes responsibility for the ongoing care of patients, thus helping them live healthier lives and reducing the cost of care."

"We bring many years of experience providing outstanding health care and great value to our patients," said Donald C. Balfour III, M.D., President and Medical Director, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group. "We are pleased to have been selected by Anthem to participate in this pilot."

According to John Jenrette, M.D., CEO and Medical Director, Sharp Community Medical Group, "Under this exciting new ACO program, PPO patients will now have the opportunity to have their personal doctor help them navigate the often-confusing array of health care options and better coordinate their care."

About Anthem Blue Cross

Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association. Also follow us on Twitter at, on Facebook at, or visit you YouTube channel at

About Sharp Community Medical Group and Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers

Sharp Community Medical Group is an association of more than 700 primary and specialty care doctors, including Graybill Medical Group in North San Diego County, who practice independently. Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers is a multispecialty group with 19 locations and 400 primary and specialty care doctors. Both groups are part of Sharp HealthCare, a 2007 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient and San Diego's most comprehensive health care delivery system.

SOURCE Sharp HealthCare