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St. Luke's University Health Network, Capital BlueCross bring accountable care arrangement to Lehigh Valley

St. Luke's Physician Group to provide primary care

LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa., Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- St. Luke's University Health Network and Capital BlueCross today announced that they have launched a unique regional accountable care arrangement to improve the health care experience and outcomes for their customers.

An accountable care arrangement is designed to enhance care coordination and the patient experience, improve health outcomes, and reduce health care expenses. Under this model, Capital BlueCross is partnering with St. Luke's Physician Group primary care and specialist physician practices to provide dedicated nursing resources and technology to deliver patient-centered, holistic care. St Luke's Physician Group is a network of physician practices affiliated with St. Luke's University Health Network.

"St. Luke's University Health Network is committed to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life of the people living in our community," said Dean Evans, President, St. Luke's Physician Group. "We look forward to working with Capital  BlueCross and business leaders to deliver high quality outcomes to patients in a cost-effective, efficient, and measurable manner."

"Capital BlueCross is excited to partner with St. Luke's, which has a strong reputation of delivering quality care to the Lehigh Valley community," said Dr. Jennifer Chambers, Capital BlueCross senior vice president and chief medical officer. "We have had great success coordinating accountable care arrangements, and look forward to providing this high level of care to our customers through the St. Luke's network."

"Employers support efforts to move from a health care system paid on volume of services performed to one that's rewarded for value," said Tom Croyle, president of the Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare. "This requires serious discussions about changing not just business models and how we pay for health care, but the culture of clinical practices and measures. The Coalition applauds two trusted partners, St. Luke's and Capital BlueCross, for the approach they have taken and appreciate the opportunity for Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare's input into the process."

As an example of how the accountable care arrangement will work, customers with complex and chronic medical conditions or those at risk for such a medical condition will be identified for outreach, education, and clinical, wellness, or community-based intervention services through the use of chronic disease registries, St. Luke's Physician Group's electronic medical record system, and Capital BlueCross' technology-enabled predictive modeling tool. The partnership also will identify customers who are eligible, but have not received, preventive services appropriate for their age and medical condition.

By focusing on a holistic approach to patient care, and working with patients to establish and manage comprehensive plans of care, Capital BlueCross and its St. Luke's physician partners will also help:

  • Enhance patient access to care
  • Decrease hospital readmissions and preventable complications
  • Proactively remind patients of needed prevention and chronic care services
  • Facilitate improved communication and care coordination

Capital BlueCross has a successful history of partnering with providers throughout the region in executing these arrangements, which have proven to yield a high rate of patient engagement and improved health outcomes.

About St. Luke's University Health Network
St. Luke's University Health Network (SLUHN) is a nonprofit, regional, fully integrated, nationally recognized network providing care, primarily in Lehigh, Northampton, Carbon, Schuylkill, Bucks, Montgomery, Berks and Monroe counties in Pennsylvania and in Warren County, New Jersey.  St. Luke's Physician Group is a network of physician practices affiliated with St. Luke's University Health Network.   This network includes primary care, OB/GYN and specialty practices.

About Capital BlueCross
For more than 75 years, Capital BlueCross has been serving central Pennsylvania and Lehigh Valley residents and businesses as the region's leading health insurer. Through its family of companies, Capital BlueCross brings innovative services and clinical solutions to the marketplace. Committed to delivering medical value to its communities, Capital BlueCross focuses on improving patient satisfaction, enhancing quality of care and reducing costs. The company continues to lead the change in the industry, most recently by entering the retail market and introducing a first-of-its-kind health and wellness store called Capital Blue. Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, employing more than 1,800 people. More information about Capital BlueCross can be found at capbluecross.com.

SOURCE Capital BlueCross

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