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Two not-for-profit health­care or­ga­ni­za­tions are form­ing a new com­pany with more than 300 physi­cians—but they’re stress­ing that this is not a merger or ac­qui­si­tion deal. The Group Health Co­op­er­a­tive and Prov­i­dence Health Care are form­ing a new lim­ited-li­a­bil­ity cor­po­ra­tion un­der which “both or­ga­ni­za­tions will work to­gether in in­no­va­tive ways to im­prove the over­all de­liv­ery of health­care ser­vices in Spokane,” ac­cord­ing to a joint news re­lease. “By im­prov­ing co­or­di­na­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion among care­givers who uti­lize the best ev­i­dence-based medicine, we will be able to im­prove qual­ity,” Mike Wil­son, Prov­i­dence Health Care Eastern Wash­ing­ton chief ex­ec­u­tive, said in the re­lease. The or­ga­ni­za­tion will in­clude 132 pri­mary-care physi­cians “at the cen­ter of the in­te­grated group,” ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, who will “serve as med­i­cal homes for pa­tients throughout the re­gion.” Care will also be co­or­di­nated among area ur­gent-care cen­ters as well as at 644-bed Prov­i­dence Sa­cred Heart Med­i­cal Cen­ter (which in­cludes Sa­cred Heart Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal) and 182-bed Prov­i­dence Holy Fam­ily Hospi­tal. Both are in Spokane. Prov­i­dence spokesman Joe Robb said there also will be 170 spe­cial­ists and 93 nurse prac­ti­tion­ers and physi­cian as­sis­tants. Lead­er­ship of the or­ga­ni­za­tion hasn’t been de­ter­mined yet, Robb said. When the or­ga­ni­za­tion starts up in Jan­uary 2013, it will serve Prov­i­dence em­ploy­ees and Group Health pa­tients whose providers prac­tice with Prov­i­dence Med­i­cal Group, Group Health or Columbia Med­i­cal As­so­ci­ates clin­ics, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease. GRAND JUNC­TION, Colo.—

As many as six prac­tices in the Grand Junc­tion area will par­tic­i­pate in a pi­lot pro­gram to in­te­grate be­hav­ioral health and pri­mary care and test the ap­pli­ca­tion of global pay­ment method­olo­gies. The ef­fort will be funded by the Colorado Health Foun­da­tion and will use the pay­ment sys­tem of Rocky Moun­tain Health Plans. Other or­ga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pat­ing are the Col­lab­o­ra­tive Fam­ily Health­care As­so­ci­a­tion and the Univer­sity of Colorado School of Medicine’s fam­ily medicine depart­ment. Dis­in­cen­tives for col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween pri­mary-care and be­hav­ioral-health providers ex­ist un­der the cur­rent health­care sys­tem’s de­sign, ac­cord­ing to a news re­lease from the Colorado Bea­con Con­sor­tium, of which Rocky Moun­tain Health Plans is a part­ner. One of the pi­lot pro­gram’s goals, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease, is to “dis­rupt old busi­ness mod­els in health­care.” “This is not an aca­demic ex­er­cise,” Patrick Gor­don, pro­gram di­rec­tor for the Colorado Bea­con Con­sor­tium, said in the re­lease. “This will be a trans­for­ma­tive pi­lot that is be­ing built with the goal of repli­cat­ing suc­cess across the coun­try.” The con­sor­tium is a health­care qual­ity-im­prove­ment or­ga­ni­za­tion with rep­re­sen­ta­tion from four Western Colorado not-for-profit or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Rocky Moun­tain Health Plans. Gor­don added that the aim is to “im­ple­ment value-based, non-fee-for-ser­vice pay­ments” for in­te­gra­tion that will bet­ter sup­port “be­hav­ior changes that are crit­i­cal to im­proved out­comes.”

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