“A new model for the nation:” Six Wisconsin health care groups to forge a statewide network

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) — Six of Wisconsin’s largest health care groups said Wednesday, August 6th they’ll be forging a statewide network.

The groups include:

The Milwaukee Business Journal reports the groups would form a strategic partnership, designed to serve as “a new model for the nation.” The move comes as health care systems nationwide have been rocked by the health care standards and payment changes ushered in by the Affordable Care Act.

Together, the organizations’ service areas provide access to health care for about 90 percent of Wisconsin.

The network would also serve neighboring Illinois, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota. The partners will use the same technology for electronic medical records, making it easier for patients to access their records and share with doctors in the network.

“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 ThedaCare’s Greg Devine, who will serve as president and CEO of the partnership.

An initial commercial insurance plan featuring the six organizations is being offered through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Blue Priority network.

“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,” Devine said.

Jeff Thompson, CEO of La Crosse-based Gundersen Health System, will chair the partnership’s board of directors. In a press release, he sought to characterize the network as a “true partnership” rather than 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,” he said.

CLICK HERE to access the Milwaukee Business Journal’s coverage of this story.

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