EvergreenHealth Partners LLC (EHP), Kirkland, Wash., has announced the creation of what it maintains is the Puget Sound region’s first clinically integrated network linking independent physicians and private practices with EvergreenHealth-employed physicians in a network. EvergreenHealth is a 318-bed acute care hospital and health system located in Kirkland.
The network, which includes nearly 500 providers representing more than 80 practices, began offering the network on Jan. 1, 2014, to self-insured organizations including EvergreenHealth, and will be available as a commercial insurance network through Regence BlueShield and other insurance carriers pending state approval.
“For the first time in this area, we’ve created a way for independent physicians to align with a hospital and its staff to use data to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction, while driving efficiencies in the delivery of care,” according to Paul Buehrens, M.D., EvergreenHealth Partners medical director, in a prepared statement.
Through EHP, providers are able to have a deeper, more patient-focused conversation and to align around quality and cost in a way not achievable in traditional health care models, and not achievable directly by the health plans themselves, according to the group.
EvergreenHealth CEO Bob Malte says the network allows a high level of collaboration and financial alignment while providers are able to remain independent. “As members of EvergreenHealth Partners, independent physicians now have the tools and resources to measure the quality of the care they provide,” Malte notes. “In addition, members of EHP will have access to other tools within the network including care managers, an established and vetted bank of clinical best practices and a connection with other like-minded providers to better coordinate care.”
EHP says that the clinical integration network underscores a commitment to measured quality data, which will eventually be made available to guide patients in selecting providers to meet their health care needs. Providers are incentivized with financial rewards for meeting quality benchmarks, ensuring that treatment decisions are driven by patient care and quality outcomes rather than cost or convenience.