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Independence Blue Cross, UPenn Partner to Enhance Care Delivery

An agreement between the provider and payer takes aim at promoting advancements in care delivery.

A new provider and payer partnership looks to improve care delivery

Source: Thinkstock

A five-year partnership between Independence Blue Cross and the University of Pennsylvania Health Systems (UPHS) should help strengthen multiple aspects of care delivery for beneficiaries in the state.

Both organizations are under contract to improve coordinated care through exchanges of critical data and shared accountability of quality of care.

UPHS also implemented a model designed to engage payers and health care providers to improve quality of care and reduce healthcare costs for Independence beneficiaries.

“We are extremely pleased that the University of Pennsylvania Health System, an institution recognized internationally for superior care, shares our commitment to innovate on behalf of our members and is demonstrating that commitment through a new contract that includes the Independence Facilitated Health Networks (IFHN) model,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, CEO at Independence Blue Cross.

“This is a significant advancement in how we collaborate with hospitals and doctors to ensure our members, and the community-at-large, receive quality care at an affordable price,” he continued. “The leadership exhibited by Ralph Muller (UPHS CEO) and his organization is a major step in improving how the health care system works in our region.”

The contract goes into effect July 1, 2017, and will initially include several healthcare organizations in Pennsylvania such as Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center.

“All of us at Independence are excited to embark on this important journey with such a respected partner,” said Hilferty.

Through the new contract, UHPS provides Independence beneficiaries with a 30-day readmission guarantee on all inpatient services and surgeries. Data exchanged between IFHN and the UPenn specialist and facility utilization, drug prescribing patterns, and potentially avoidable emergency room visits.

“At every step in our work to improve patient care, Independence has been an important collaborator. Now, we’re taking the next step together, as the nation’s ‘best in class’ partnership between health systems and insurers,” said Ralph W. Muller, CEO of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.”

“Every day, our physicians and staff at Penn Medicine will be working together with our colleagues at Independence to improve quality of care, decrease costs of providing it, and most importantly, putting all of that together to keep our patients healthy.”

Under the IFHN, an Independence Clinical Care Transformation team plans to work with UPHS doctors on-site to help care cost management.

The team will provide benchmarks for provider cost efficiency as well as a holistic view of patient populations served by UPHS.

“The University of Pennsylvania Health System is known for world class treatment, technology and care delivery,” said IFHN President Anthony V. Coletta, M., MBA.

“We are delighted to be partnering with them on this exciting new contract. This collaborative approach and shared accountability that engages, enables, and empowers providers to deliver quality, affordable care underscores where the healthcare industry is moving and Independence is eager to help lead the way with Penn.”

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