In November 2012, The Everett Clinic, Group Health Physicians, and Group Health Cooperative announced a new alliance agreement aimed at providing high-quality, affordable healthcare and convenient access to patients in Snohomish County.
The focus of this effort is new projects to assure patients receive appropriate preventive and coordinated care to improve overall health.
The agreement identifies several joint initiatives centered on the patient, including:
The organizations have been working closely together since 2010 when they began formally collaborating on ways to improve care coordination in Snohomish County. Group Health already offers The Everett Clinic’s patients its ClearCare Medicare Advantage health plan and the organizations exchange electronic medical records via Care Everywhere. This service gives patients and their providers the benefit of easily accessing their records from either system.
- Development of a commercial Accountable Care Organization – an organized network of providers accountable for delivering seamless, coordinated care at the local level and potentially in a larger geographic market.
- Advancing the organizations’ existing care quality initiatives for Medicare enrollees.
- Collaboration to identify joint clinical programs to improve quality and reduce cost.
- Identifying innovative ways within the healthcare delivery system to help patients avoid unnecessary ER visits and hospital admissions.
The new alliance agreement moves the relationship from a collaborative effort to specific strategic initiatives to ensure that both organizations are well-positioned for upcoming changes in healthcare and to help patients benefit from the development of new standards of care.
The Everett Clinic provides 4,750 Group Health members with medical services. Group Health has about 56,600 total members in Snohomish County, who are seen at Group Health Medical Centers and in Group Health’s network of contracted providers.
Patients from each organization do not need to make any changes to the way they access care. The Everett Clinic patients can keep their current physicians, and they have the opportunity to join Group Health’s Medicare Advantage plan, but are not required to join.
Group Health and The Everett Clinic will remain independent of one another and will begin planning to work together through a Limited Liability Company (LLC).