Geisinger Health Sys­tem, High­mark plan­ning joint ven­ture

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Maria Castel­lucci

Geisinger Health Sys­tem, Danville, Pa., and High­mark Health, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield af­fil­i­ate and hospi­tal sys­tem based in Pitts­burgh, last week signed a let­ter of in­tent to form a joint ven­ture.

Un­der the agree­ment, the two or­ga­ni­za­tions will ex­plore ways to im­prove health­care ser­vices and lower costs for pa­tients in north cen­tral Penn­syl­va­nia. The two are fo­cused on im­prov­ing pop­u­la­tion health through value-based pay­ment mod­els.

The part­ner­ship will ini­tially fo­cus on the con­struc­tion of a new fa­cil­ity in ru­ral Mon­toursville. Both or­ga­ni­za­tions will mon­i­tor its suc­cess and look to ex­pand ser­vices to more ar­eas. The part­ner­ship will im­pact about 65,000 High­mark mem­bers that live in north cen­tral Penn­syl­va­nia, in­clud­ing Medi­care Ad­van­tage mem­bers.

High­mark’s ri­val UPMC Health Plan en­tered into a sim­i­lar ven­ture last year with Read­ing (Pa.) Health Sys­tem. High­mark Pres­i­dent Deb Rice-John­son said the agree­ment with Geisinger will al­low it to bet­ter com­pete with UPMC.

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