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Franciscan Alliance launches accountable care organization

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -– Franciscan Alliance has formed an accountable care organization (ACO), a model designed to improve patient care, reduce medical costs and enhance the delivery of health care.

For months, the state’s largest Catholic-based health care system has been working to establish an ACO, which they view as a vital component of health care reform as it progresses nationally.

“It has been our vision to provide better and more affordable care to our patients and elevate efficiency among our hospitals, physicians and insurers,” said Kevin Leahy, Franciscan Alliance president and chief executive officer. “The ACO we are creating benefits patients by giving them more of a role in directing their own care, offering them more incentives for disease prevention and pursuing healthier lifestyles, and significantly reducing duplicative medical tests.”

Franciscan Alliance – with 13 hospitals in Indiana and Illinois – provides care for more than 2.9 million outpatient visits and more than 100,000 inpatient discharges every year.

The system employs 18,200 co-workers including 556 physicians – both primary care and specialists – and expects to grow its physician team to more than 630 physicians next year, serving the system’s service-area population of 3.7 million people.

From an industry perspective, the ACO model encourages organizations such as hospitals, physician practices and insurance providers to collaborate closely, thus bringing down the overall costs of medical care.

Franciscan Alliance (formerly the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services Inc.) took the first step in creating an ACO in late 2010. Franciscan St. Francis Health Network in Indianapolis forged an agreement with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, providing patients enrolled in Hoosier Healthwise and the Healthy Indiana Plan with access to a more integrated health system.

The program, which went into effect Jan. 1, 2011, expands access to an estimated 28,000 Medicaid beneficiaries in south-central Indiana.

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  1. […] Franciscan Alliance Launches Accountable Care Organization Tuesday, Lafayette (Indiana) Online […]

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