Health systems form interstate alliance

Working toward the 'triple aim'
By Diana Manos
10:51 AM

Seven of the nation's leading health systems announced Thursday the formation of an interstate consortium that will address quality, population health management, best practices and medical research in the Northeast region.

AllSpire Health Partners is an alliance of seven hospital systems (containing 25 total hospitals) in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Its members encompass systems containing nationally-ranked hospitals that are within the Top Ten in their state and more than 20 specialties ranked in the Top 50 in the nation, according to US News and World Report. The participating systems include:

  • Atlantic Health System (Morristown, N.J.)
  • Hackensack University Health Network (Hackensack, N.J)
  • Lancaster General Health (Lancaster, Pa.)
  • Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, Pa.)
  • Meridian Health (Neptune, N.J)
  • Reading Health System (Reading, Pa.)
  • WellSpan Health (York, Pa.)

Participating systems will immediately share best clinical practices in individual areas in which they have been recognized in US News & World Report. Together, the seven health systems have a service area of more than 6 million people and combined revenue of $10,500,000,000 – making AllSpire Health Partners the largest health care consortium in the country, according to an AllSpire news release.

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"This is the first step in a new chapter that will propel us to transform health care delivery," said Karen J. Kessler, Chair of the Board of Trustees of Atlantic Health System and the newly-created Board of Trustees of AllSpire Health Partners. "This consortium will produce seven cutting-edge health systems working in tandem, giving patients greater access to best-in-class health care services. This is the future of health care."

[See also: Hospitals ready for meaningful use now.]

AllSpire officials say Health Partners was created for the implementation of "triple aim" which, as defined by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, consists of: improving the experience for the patient, improving the health of the population and creating more affordable health care. As the paradigm of healthcare delivery is currently evolving, the era of fee-for-service medicine is shifting to a value-based model of health care delivery.

The new consortium will carry out joint activities in traditional areas of patient care services, research and education to enhance the value of health care that communities receive. In addition, the consortium will address economies of scale, shared best practices to improve health outcomes and identify opportunities in the new era of health care delivery. The alliance will develop and participate in shared services in order to reduce costs.

While traditional partnerships remain important, there is a greater opportunity to leverage the combined intellectual assets of AllSpire Health Partners to elevate the quality of care, reduce the cost and move toward a regional population health focus.

“We've come together to demonstrate our leadership of a cultural shift in the healthcare industry - one anchored by our individual clinical excellence, but ushering in a new spirit of partnership and collaboration," said Robert C. Garrett, president and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Health Network. "Together we will not only share learning that improve outcomes, but also lower the cost of care to our communities."

"We have an obligation to our communities to demonstrate value, not only excellent clinical quality and service," said Joseph Simunovich, chairman of the board of Trustees of Hackensack University Health Network. "This alliance helps us to not only share what we have, but also learn from communities like ourselves."

[See also: Interoperability made real.]

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