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SWEDISH MEDICAL CENTER: FOUR HEALTH CARE ORGANIZATIONS ANNOUNCE STRATEGIC ALLIANCE

 SEATTLE, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- While it is still unclear how federal and state health care reform will specifically impact the Puget Sound area, a set of core health care organizations in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties are announcing an exciting initiative to prepare for the fundamental changes to the way health care will be delivered, Swedish Medical Center said today.
 Recognizing that changes are necessary and represent an opportunity for both health care organizations and physicians to consider radically different approaches to health care delivery, the organizations have entered into a strategic alliance to develop an integrated health care delivery network.
 Through this regional alliance, MultiCare Health System, Tacoma; Good Samaritan Community Healthcare, Puyallup; Swedish Medical Center, Seattle; and Stevens Memorial Hospital, Edmonds, will jointly build an integrated physician-hospital approach to health care delivery. The network will have the capacity to contract with and manage the health care delivery to large population groups and share economic risk between health care organizations and physicians. All four partners have been participating in planning discussions for several years. This announcement represents their shared vision of building peer partnerships between hospitals, physicians and others, across a wide geographic area to provide the future health care system of choice for the communities they serve.
 Members of the regional health care alliance recognize that under health care reform, health care organizations and physicians that continue to practice within traditional and highly fragmented organization and service delivery models will likely be seriously disadvantaged. In most cases they will lack the ability to provide cost-effective care to health care purchasers that will expect providers to manage health care delivery to large population groups.
 To position their institutions for these changes, the alliance is based on the concept of shared economic risk and reward between physicians and hospitals and other potential partners. Members believe that the advantages gained from risk sharing, achieving economies of scale, along with a joint contracting mechanism, will help achieve this concept.
 As a first step toward achieving some of these scale economies and efficiencies, alliance members, in the future, will evaluate areas of collaboration including:
 -- Network development;
 -- Infrastructure planning and development; and
 -- Managed care contracting.
 The initial group of four member health care organizations cover a wide geographic area and share several important characteristics that add considerable strength to the alliance. These include:
 -- A shared vision of physician/hospital organizational models;
 -- A belief in a team approach and a willingness to work within the alliance framework;
 -- A willingness to work together to share risk, information, technology and insights with alliance members;
 -- A commitment in reducing the cost of their services; and
 -- A willingness to collaborate with other potential partners to build the most effective delivery system across the three-county area.
 -0- 6/9/93
 /CONTACT: Lind Simonsen of MultiCare Health System, 206-552-1261; or Bob Dalton of Good Samaritan Community Healthcare, 206-848-6661, ext. 1540; or Sally Wright of Swedish Medical Center, 206-386-3258; or Rhonda Jack of Stevens Memorial Hospital, 206-744-4041/


CO: MultiCare Health System; Good Samaritan Community Healthcare;
 Swedish Medical Center; Stevens Memorial Center ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:


LM-LS -- SE003 -- 6834 06/09/93 07:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 9, 1993
Words:523
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