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PinnacleHealth, Blue Cross announce accountable care arrangement

By - Last modified: June 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM

Harrisburg-based PinnacleHealth System and Susquehanna Township-based Capital Blue Cross announced today a collaborative effort known as an accountable care arrangement.

The partnership is one of the first of its kind between a health care system and a health insurer in the state, company officials said.

Capital will provide dedicated nursing resources, access to technology and critical analytics to PinnacleHealth's physicians. One of the main goals is to reduce health care expenses and improve patient satisfaction, officials said.

The initial agreement is for five years, though officials said they foresee it being a long-term partnership.

Capital already has two ACAs that it launched last year. One is with Physicians' Alliance Ltd. of Lancaster; the other is with Heritage Medical Group.

According to Capital, patient engagement – which includes how well patients follow doctors' and nurses' instructions after procedures – has already increased significantly to more than of 75 percent through the Heritage ACA. The goal is to educate consumers and curb the rate of readmissions.

Gary St. Hilaire, president of Capital, said that, in the long run, the ACA will help drive lower premiums for patients. The insurer serves more than 25,000 consumers in the region.

"The sense of urgency in the health care community has been heightened" to address the affordability of care, St. Hilaire said.

This collaboration likely will create some jobs on the care coordination side, both companies said.

"We believe this arrangement will really drive improvements in the health care delivery system," said Michael Young, PinnacleHealth's CEO.

Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jasons@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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