Six Wisconsin health care organizations today announced a pioneering statewide network, framing their strategic partnership as a new pathway for patients to access the health care across the state and region.
The partnership’s founding members and their headquarters locations include: Aspirus, Wausau; Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee; Bellin Health, Green Bay; Gundersen Health System, La Crosse; ThedaCare, Appleton; and UW Health, Madison.
The organizations expect the network to serve as a new model for the nation.
Together, the organizations’ service areas provide access to health care for about 90 percent of Wisconsin’s population. They also serve people in neighboring Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. Each organization in the partnership uses the same technology for electronic medical records, making it easier for patients to access their records and share with doctors in the network.
The reach of the founding partners also includes a significant number of affiliated and like-minded independent provider organizations.
“Our vision is to use our collective resources wisely by being good stewards of the clinical, administrative, IT, research, patient experience, care management and other shared expertise within our six systems,” said Greg Devine, president and chief executive officer of the partnership. “We want to provide better value in health care.”
An initial commercial insurance plan featuring the six organizations is being offered through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Priority network. The Blue Priority product is available now through insurance brokers, the federal Health Insurance Marketplace at healthcare.gov and private health insurance exchanges.
The partnership plans to expand coverage options and is evaluating other insurance carriers and administrative products.
“Employers and government purchasers now have access to the economic and clinical benefits of a more efficient, high quality network of care for their employees and families across the state,” Devine said. “Our aim is that the partnership will be featured in insurance plans that serve the needs of individual purchasers, as well as national employers that have a statewide presence or that are headquartered in areas we serve.”
Dr. Jeff Thompson, chair of the partnership’s board of directors and CEO of La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, said, “Our promise to our patients and the communities we serve is to deliver high quality, lower cost health, and to improve the health of the populations we serve. This is a true partnership among our six organizations, not a merger or consolidation. It will allow us to more rapidly learn from each other, share best practices, and serve the needs of patients and families more efficiently.”
The partnership is open to expanding its membership to include other health organizations that have a demonstrated record of delivering quality, value-based care.