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EHR Data Sharing Behind Major Wisconsin Health System Collaboration

August 7, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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Thanks to a shared electronic health record (EHR) platform, six of the largest health systems in Wisconsin are aligning together to form a strategic, statewide alliance that aims to eventually provide accountable care for 90 percent of Wisconsin's patients.

The six organizations and their headquarters include:

  • Aspirus, Wausau
  • Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee
  • Bellin Health, Green Bay
  • Gundersen Health System, La Crosse
  • ThedaCare, Appleton
  • UW Health, Madison

While the formation isn't quite an accountable care organization (ACO) yet, Matt Heywood, CEO of Aspirus, told Modern Healthcare that eventually they prefer to become one. They are offering a health plan through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield's Blue Priority network and hope to add more in the future.

The group will represent 90 percent of Wisconsinites with this strategic alignment as well as people in parts of Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. The six have the same EHR platform (from the Verona, Wisc.-based Epic Systems) and this allows them to easily share patient data across the differing networks for patients and providers.

"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," Greg Devine, president and CEO of the partnership, said in a statement. "We want to provide better value in health care."

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