SAN FRANCISCO and SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California, Dominican Hospital and Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz County (PMG) today announced a three-year accountable care initiative designed to provide integrated, cost-efficient healthcare to approximately 8,000 Blue Shield HMO members in Santa Cruz County. About 5,200 of these enrollees are members of the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). The parties expect this collaboration to result in little to no increase in healthcare costs for members in the first year of the collaboration, and low single digit increases in the two subsequent years.
To achieve this goal, the organizations will identify and implement long-term strategies aimed at improving quality and efficiency to ensure that health care stays affordable for Blue Shield members and local employers. The healthcare entities will work together to share clinical and case management information and to coordinate comprehensive healthcare services. The organizations' incentives will be aligned to improve healthcare quality and patient service while reducing costs.
This initiative has launched and will continue for a minimum of 36 months. It is the parties' collective intent to extend the collaboration even longer in order to have a material, sustainable impact on healthcare costs for members and employers over time. The goal is to build a care delivery model that improves quality through better coordination of care while taking costs out of the healthcare delivery system.
"As a member of Dignity Health, we have a long and notable commitment to creating a more just health system," said Nan Mickiewicz, M.D., president of Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz. "We are proud to participate in this collaboration as we believe it is an important step in modernizing the health care system so that we can deliver better care at an affordable price."
"Along with our partners, we are pleased to continue to lead initiatives that both improve care and contain costs," says Marvin Labrie, Chief Executive Officer of Physicians Medical Group. "Premium increases are a constant concern for employers who neither want to limit coverage nor pass along costs to their employees. By working with Dominican Hospital and Blue Shield we can together develop approaches to address inefficiencies and leverage opportunities to improve process and communication."
The collaboration is Blue Shield's eighth commercial accountable care organization. Blue Shield currently works with hospitals, physician groups and employers on ACOs to deliver integrated care to 135,000 Californians in Sacramento, San Francisco, Walnut Creek, Santa Cruz, the Central Valley and Orange County.
"This collaboration with Dominican Hospital and PMG is aimed at delivering high-quality coordinated care to Blue Shield members in Santa Cruz County. It's another milestone in our ongoing effort to transform how we provide and pay for care to make health coverage more affordable to all Californians," said Juan Davila, senior vice president of network management for Blue Shield of California.
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 and 4,800 employees. 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, has one of the largest provider networks, and $9.7 billion in annual revenue. In 2012, Blue Shield of California was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies. Since 2005, the company has contributed more than $170 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 Dominican Hospital
Since 1941, Dominican Hospital has provided compassionate, quality health care to the Santa Cruz community. Dominican Hospital, a member of Dignity Health, is a full-service healthcare facility with 279 acute beds on two campuses. Dominican has a medical staff of about 400 physicians and a mission to improve the health and well-being of the Santa Cruz community. Dominican continues to reflect the core values of the founding Adrian Dominican Sisters and Dignity Health: excellence, justice, dignity, collaboration and stewardship. To learn more, visit dominicanhospital.org.
About Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz County
Physicians Medical Group of Santa Cruz County (PMG) provides quality health services to thousands of patients in the communities of Santa Cruz County. With over 300 providers, 42 specialties, and 100 locations, PMG offers the largest network of independent Primary Care Physicians and Specialists in Santa Cruz County. To learn more, visit www.pmgscc.com.
SOURCE Blue Shield of California