Blue Shield of California and Inland Empire Physician Groups Launch Accountable Care Initiative Six medical groups affiliated with EPIC Management will participate in coordinated care effort to improve quality and reduce costs

SAN FRANCISCO and REDLANDS, Calif., March 12, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California and EPIC Health Plan, part of EPIC Management, L.P., announced today a two-year accountable care initiative to provide integrated, cost-efficient care to Blue Shield HMO members in the Inland Empire. The Accountable Care Organization (ACO) will include six medical groups managed by EPIC Management, L.P., and will provide coordinated care for approximately 27,300 members. Approximately 7,000 of these enrollees are members of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS), while an additional 7,500 are employees of the County of San Bernardino. The organizations expect this collaboration to result in decreased healthcare cost trends for these members during the two years of the collaboration.

This is Blue Shield's first ACO arrangement in the Inland Empire, and its 11th such program in the state. The two organizations will share clinical and case management information and coordinate comprehensive healthcare services for Blue Shield HMO members assigned to a participating EPIC-affiliated physician. The six medical groups participating in the ACO are Beaver Medical Group, Pinnacle Medical Group, Redlands-Yucaipa Medical Group, Alliance Desert Physicians, Tri Valley Medical Group and Chaffey Medical Group. The ACO team will work closely with local hospitals to coordinate members' treatment across the care continuum.

"This is a real opportunity to work together with Blue Shield, our physicians and our local hospitals to improve the performance of healthcare delivery in the communities we serve," said John Goodman, chief executive officer at EPIC Management, L.P.

The goal of the ACO collaboration is to keep health care affordable for Blue Shield members and employers in the local area. A multidisciplinary team representing both organizations will identify and implement long-term strategies to build a care delivery model that improves quality through better coordination of care while removing unnecessary costs from the healthcare delivery system. The ACO collaboration was recently approved by the state Department of Managed Health Care, and the initiative will continue at minimum through 2015.

"We are very pleased to be collaborating with EPIC on our first ACO in the Inland Empire," said Kristen Miranda, vice president of strategic partnerships and innovation at Blue Shield of California. "This coordinated care model is proving successful in a variety of markets across the state and we look forward to bringing our best practices to this work with EPIC to improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs."

About Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 3.3 million members, 5,000 employees and $10.5 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California provides health, life, dental, vision, and Medicare insurance and health care service plans in California. Blue Shield of California was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies in 2012 and 2013. Since 2005, the company has contributed more than $200 million to Blue Shield of California Foundation, one of BusinessWeek's most generous corporate foundations. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit www.blueshieldca.com.

About EPIC

EPIC Management, L.P. provides healthcare management services to Southern California physician groups and hospitals. EPIC's clients employ over 250 physicians that provide high quality health services to over 150,000 patients throughout the Inland Empire. With corporate offices in Redlands, California, EPIC employs over 1,400 people in the Inland Empire. Learn more about EPIC at www.epicmanagementlp.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Lindy Wagner
Blue Shield of California
(415) 229-6872
Lindy.wagner@blueshieldca.com

SOURCE Blue Shield of California



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