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St. Elizabeth, Tri-Health Announce Joint Venture

St. Elizabeth Healthcare and TriHealth announced Thursday a letter of intent that each signed to establish Healthcare Solutions Network. The two local health care providers describe te new venture as one that enables them to more quickly achieve the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's "Triple Aim" goals of better health, better patient experience, and lower costs.

The regional health organization brings together the physicians and hospitals of St. E and TriHealth and will arrange for high quality, individually tailored and coordinated care to patients in Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana, according to a news release.

Healthcare Solutions Network will also partner with employers and payers for innovative solutions and superior clinical outcomes to manage the total cost of care and create a clinically integrated network of hospitals and physicians, the release said.

The news release emphasized that the move is not a merger.

Each organization will continue to operate its own facilities and maintain its own management and governing board. Healthcare Solutions Network is owned jointly by both St. E and TriHealth.

First-year priorities include:

• Managed care products: Introducing a new Medicare Advantage product to the market for this exclusive network. Providing a narrow network for health plans, which will offer a cost-efficient, high-quality alternative to broad network Preferred Provider Organization health insurance products.

• Integrated network: Creating a single network to enable employed physicians, independent physicians and hospitals to align to improve quality and outcomes under a common infrastructure. 

• Population health management: Developing a program to help manage the health of large patient groups through a single clinical network that offers additional value for patients.  

• Clinical services: Coordinating select services to facilitate adoption of best practices, improve quality access at patient and population levels and provide more efficient use of healthcare resources.  

“We recognize healthcare is changing rapidly,” St. Elizabeth Healthcare CEO John Dubis said. “It’s imperative to be able to accelerate ways to streamline patient care, improve quality outcomes and help eliminate or lower unnecessary costs. This kind of innovative teamwork is needed to accomplish these goals.”

“This collaboration will allow our systems to better serve Tristate employers and residents as a single region,” said TriHealth CEO John Prout. “While remaining independent organizations, we believe this collaborative approach benefits the community because it allows us to do things better together than either of our organizations can do as well alone.”  

Systems have worked together on other programs

St. Elizabeth and TriHealth have previously collaborated on programs such as insurance plans to access specialist physician services. Earlier this year, the two organizations participated in a narrow network insurance plan through Humana called Total Care, which offers reduced employee and employer premiums. They also jointly own Tri-State Healthcare Laundry, formed in 1989 to serve the laundry needs of the two health systems.
  
In addition, St. Elizabeth and TriHealth are working together to coordinate support services for the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative pilot awarded to the Greater Cincinnati/Dayton region last year by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation Services. Both healthcare systems account for nearly half of the regions Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative practices. The $60 million pilot studies innovations in primary care delivery and payment models.
 
Healthcare Solutions Network to address efficiency and value for businesses and insurers

This collaboration will benefit businesses and patients by:    
• Offering health insurers access to a single unified and value-oriented network that covers the entire Tristate region. 
• Sharing information in order to reduce the number of tests and procedures, which will help better coordinate care, improve outcomes and lower costs. 
• Working together to create a healthier and more productive workforce for local and regional employers. 
   
“Our systems’ services are highly complementary,” Prout said.  “This collaboration will make it easier for physicians, patients, employers and insurers to access one, high-quality, lower cost and efficient source for health services and solutions across the region.”

Current management to lead venture

Prout and Dubis will serve as co-CEOs of Healthcare Solutions Network with the senior management teams of Edgewood, Ky.-based St. Elizabeth and Cincinnati-based TriHealth working together to develop and implement program strategies. 

It is still being determined if Healthcare Solutions Network will result in new jobs or if existing staff of the two health systems will fill all positions.  However, most employees will see no change in responsibilities.

From St. Elizabeth Healthcare and TriHealth

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