New Approach to Healthcare Reduces Costs, Increases Quality

Medical Mutual, OhioHealth, The Medical Group of Ohio Form Partnership

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Health4 and Medical Mutual of Ohio have developed an innovative program which will reward hospitals and doctors for keeping people healthy and out of the hospital.

Medical Mutual, the Ohio-based health insurer and Health4 have collaborated on a new approach to control healthcare costs by improving coordination and quality of care. Under the new agreement, Health4 doctors and hospitals will be financially rewarded when quality healthcare measures are met and savings are realized.

Health4, a clinically integrated healthcare delivery model consisting of The Medical Group of Ohio (MGO) physicians and OhioHealth's facilities and services, brings together primary-care doctors, specialists and hospitals, which all take part in coordinating patient care and a continuous quality improvement program. The aim is to keep patients from developing potentially life-threatening — and expensive — medical complications.

"We should pay for what people want: high-quality, cost-effective healthcare," said Kevin Lauterjung, Medical Mutual's executive vice president of Managed Care, "that heads-off catastrophic financial and medical situations."

Lauterjung said the program provides an incentive to treat more patients with complex medical conditions, because they represent the largest potential savings by improving their health. The integration of insurance claim data and clinical data also give doctors an accurate picture of everything about a patient's current medical condition.

"We believe that networks like Health4 represent the future model of healthcare service delivery," said John Kontner, system vice president of Managed Care for OhioHealth. "Our partnership with Medical Mutual is unique and valuable for healthcare consumers in central Ohio."

The partnership also features a strong emphasis on preventive care and wellness. The sharing of data allows physicians to be informed when their patient last had a preventive/wellness visit and to then contact the patient to facilitate future wellness care.

"The Health4 program has demonstrated significant increases in the number of patients receiving wellness visits," said Ben Humphrey, M.D. and CEO of MGO. "And this fact is believed to be directly related to the demonstrated decrease in the number of emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and total medical costs of those receiving preventive visits."

"What makes this program different from others in the industry is that there is an incentive for Medical Mutual, the payer, to help the physician organization be successful," said Lauterjung, "If Health4 is successful, then everybody wins. The patient wins with better health. The doctors and hospitals are rewarded for keeping people healthy, and above all, we all win with quality healthcare resulting in lower costs."

About Medical Mutual of Ohio

Founded in 1934 Medical Mutual of Ohio is the oldest and largest health insurance company based in Ohio. For more than 75 years the company has served its customers through high-quality, affordable group and personal health insurance plans, and third-party administrative services to self-insured group customers. For more information, visit the company's award-winning website at www.MedMutual.com.

About OhioHealth

OhioHealth is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit, charitable, healthcare organization serving and supported by the community. Named by Thomson Reuters as one of the 10 best healthcare systems in America in 2010, OhioHealth has also been recognized by FORTUNE Magazine as one of the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Based in Columbus, Ohio, it is a family of 21,000 associates, physicians and volunteers, 18 hospitals, 23 health and surgery centers, home-health providers, medical equipment and health service suppliers throughout a 40-county area. OhioHealth member hospitals include Riverside Methodist Hospital, Grant Medical Center, Doctors Hospital-Columbus, Grady Memorial Hospital, Dublin Methodist Hospital, Doctors Hospital-Nelsonville, Hardin Memorial Hospital and Marion General Hospital. For more information, please visit our website at www.ohiohealth.com.

About The Medical Group of Ohio

The Medical Group of Ohio is an independent, physician-owned and operated company comprised of approximately 2,000 physicians. MGO works together, as a business, to improve the process of delivering health care and to enhance the professional satisfaction of its members. Please visit MGO's web site at www.theMGO.com.

SOURCE Medical Mutual of Ohio

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