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 ANAHEIM, Calif. June 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthcare delivery systems

in which physicians, hospitals, patients, and payers collaborate will survive into the next century. These types of plans are very different from traditional forms of healthcare delivery: They are transformational, Paul Teslow, president/chief executive officer, UniHealth America, told participants at the 77th Annual Catholic Health Assembly of the Catholic Health Association of the United States (CHA).
 CHA's Leadership Task Force on National Health Policy Reform has developed a systemic healthcare proposal that creates a unique public/private partnership to provide affordable and high-quality healthcare services to everyone in the United States. The goal of the proposal is to create a just, comprehensive, and credible system that ensures healthcare delivery is (1) organized around the needs of people, families, and communities and (2) available to all through a coordinated continuum of care.
 Teslow commended the CHA for its healthcare reform proposal, which focuses on integrated delivery networks (IDNs). "You're restructuring, on a systemic basis, American healthcare and that has taken a lot of courage," he remarked.
 Teslow described the growth of UniHealth America, a Burbank, Calif.- based healthcare system, created in 1988. The system uses integrated healthcare delivery systems to serve the 14 million residents of the Los Angeles basin, a culturally diverse area. The compared UniHealth America's model, Commitment to Caring, with CHA's proposal and described aspects of UniHealth's model that have been successful.
 The UniHealth America vision has four goals. The system wants to:
 -- Regionally integrate
 -- Be quality-value driven
 -- Merge care and financing
 -- Create multi-healthcare continuums
 UniHealth America has, in part, achieved these goals, through strategic alliances among physicians, payers, provider-hospitals, specialized services-products, suppliers, and employers. A successful healthcare system will have to be pluralistic in its approach by offering many choices, such as many physician formats, health plans, and marketing approaches, noted Teslow. He said that non-affiliated hospitals and small HMOs, "anything that does not have critical mass," will struggle to survive.
 One key to a successful healthcare system is to fully collaborate with physicians and enhance their ability to practice, Teslow emphasized. UniHealth America supports physicians in private practice and in small and large groups.
 Another aspect important to a healthcare system's success is a medical communications network to which specialists, clinics and groups, hospitals, payers, home care givers, laboratories, and pharmacies are connected. The goal, Teslow noted, is to create a longitudinal patient data base, to have a long-term data profile on each enrollee.
 Teslow closed by commending CHA for proposing a plan that focuses on the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of the enrollee. He asked Catholic healthcare providers to keep their values of preserving service, human dignity, common good, and responsible stewardship in the foreground. "That's what we're here for," said Teslow, "to service people in need. We're a ministry, not a commodity."
 Leaders of Catholic healthcare in the United States are addressing the problems plaguing our nation's healthcare system at a four-day assembly, which is themed "HEAL USA." Sessions are delving into the need for societal healing that goes beyond the problems of a dysfunctional healthcare system. Discussions are focusing on how to balance rights and responsibilities, individualism, and the common good in bringing about healthcare reform.
 The Catholic Health Association of the United States represents healthcare providers at more than 1,200 Catholic facilities and organizations. Member organizations constitute the largest single group of not-for-profit healthcare facilities in the United States.
 For more information during the assembly (June 14-17), contact: J. Fred Caesar, CHA's director of media relations, at The Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, 714/778-6600. After June 17 -- call CHA's national headquarters in St. Louis, 314-427-2500, ext. 252.
 -0- 6/16/92
 /CONTACT: Fred Caesar of Catholic Health Association, 314/427-2500 ext. 252/ CO: Catholic Health Association of the United States ST: California IN: HEA SU:

LR -- NY061 -- 0721 06/16/92 13:51 EDT
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Date:Jun 16, 1992

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