Integrated Healthcare Association Supports Innovative Health Care Reform Pilot

OAKLAND, Calif. -  (Business Wire) May 26 2010 - The Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) announced today its endorsement of an innovative pilot aimed to increase health care quality and lower costs. The Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model rewards providers for improving patient outcomes, while slowing cost growth. Two of southern California’s leading physician-governed medical groups, HealthCare Partners and Monarch HealthCare, have been selected for participation in the pilot along with Anthem Blue Cross – all IHA Board member organizations.

Monarch HealthCare, an Irvine, California-based Medical Group and Independent Practice Association (IPA), and HealthCare Partners, a Torrance, California-based Medical Group and IPA, will collaborate with Anthem Blue Cross in an ACO pilot project led by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice. The selection of these organizations furthers the nationwide demonstration project already underway in three other communities. The demonstration project is expected to produce a successful model that will be replicable throughout the country.

Elliott Fisher, M.D., M.P.H., who along with Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph.D., is leading the national Brookings-Dartmouth project, describes the ACO as “a provider-led organization willing to be accountable for the full continuum of care for its patients.”

Stephen M. Shortell, Ph.D., M.B.A., M.P.H., Blue Cross of California Distinguished Professor of Health Policy and Management and Dean, University of California, Berkeley School of Public Health, commented, “ACOs link an organizational structure with a payment and performance measurement approach that ensures accountability, holding the promise for improved patient outcomes and efficiency.” Shortell and Fisher recently co-authored a policy briefing on Implementing Accountable Care Organizations, part of a policy series on Advancing National Health Reform from the Berkeley Center on Health, Economic & Family Security.

To further inform national thought-leaders, IHA is leading a project to articulate and disseminate the California experience on the development and management of ACOs over the course of the past three decades. The project includes development of a white paper, Roundtable forums, and a report assessing the principle challenges that California stakeholders have faced and business strategy revisions in response to those challenges. The paper will also highlight implications and lessons learned for the national debate.

IHA and the California Association of Physician Groups (CAPG) are co-sponsoring an Accountable Care Organization Summit which will focus on the development of California’s delegated ACO model. The Summit will be held on October 25 – 27, 2010 at the Century Plaza Hyatt Regency Hotel in Los Angeles, California (www.CaliforniaACOSummit.com).

“The ACO model builds the groundwork for providers to focus on patient-centric care and achieve quality goals while containing the rising costs of healthcare. This pilot represents a positive approach to health reform,” said Bart Asner, MD, CEO of Monarch HealthCare and IHA Board Chair.

About the Integrated Healthcare Association (www.iha.org) – IHA is a multi-stakeholder leadership group that promotes quality improvement, accountability and affordability of health care in California. IHA is a nonprofit association working to actively convene all healthcare parties for cross sector collaboration on health care topics. IHA administers regional and statewide programs and serves as an incubator for pilot programs and projects, including: pay for performance; value‐based purchasing of medical devices; bundled episode payments; the measurement and reward of healthcare efficiency; and healthcare affordability.

Integrated Healthcare Association
Cindy Ernst, 510-208‐1743
[email protected]

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