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Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System and Group Health sign new 5-year deal

Post by John Gillie / The News Tribune on June 14, 2012 at 12:59 pm with No Comments »
June 14, 2012 1:00 pm

Group Health Cooperative today announced a 5-year extension of its contract with Tacoma’s Franciscan Health System to provide inpatient care and other medical services for Group Health enrollees in the South Puget Sound region.

The contract is an extension of an existing agreement Group Health has had with Franciscan since 1996.

Part of the agreement calls for both health care organizations to explore new models for health care delivery that could make health care more efficient and less expensive.

“Physicians and staff at both organizations will collaborate to improve coordination of services; evaluate new models for care delivery; maximize the utilization of electronic health records; and explore co-developing insurance products and other resources that can enhance access, quality and safety. Both organizations will also reach out to share best practices and improve care coordination with leading providers in the South Puget Sound region,” the two organizations said in a joint press release.

“We could not ask for a better partner than Group Health, which is recognized as one of the leading providers of coordinated patient-care services in the nation,” Franciscan Chief Executive Officer Joe Wilczek said. “We look forward to continuing to work with Group Health and other providers in the community to create opportunities for better care delivery, better outcomes, and better health.”

“Our goal is create the right systems and support to create a seamless experience of care and service for our patients at every point of care,” said Scott Armstrong, president and CEO, Group Health Cooperative. “It is also in our goal to improve care and health as broadly as we can in the community.”

Franciscan Health System, which has hospitals and medical clinics in Pierce, South King and South Kitsap counties, has been a key provider of acute-care services for Group Health clients in the South Sound since 1996. To date, most admissions of Group Health enrollees for inpatient care have occurred at Franciscan’s St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma. All five of Franciscan’s hospital emergency departments, and several Franciscan Medical Group physicians also care for Group Health patients.

The new five-year contract takes full effect in January 2013.

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