Health Systems Announce Launch of Physician-Led Together Health Network

CHE Trinity Health and Ascension Health Form Michigan-Based Clinically Integrated Network to Transform Care in New Era of Population Health Management

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We believe this one-of-a-kind collaboration between two of the state's largest healthcare organizations will set a new standard for providing value-based healthcare in Michigan.

Detroit, Mich. (PRWEB) May 07, 2014

Physician leaders in Michigan, in collaboration with the health systems of Ascension Health and CHE-Trinity Health, have created a new statewide clinically integrated network of healthcare providers to improve access, cost and quality of care for the communities they serve. This new company, called Together Heath Network, with a geographic presence including 27 hospitals and hundreds of ambulatory centers and physician offices, enables its member hospitals, physicians and other providers to jointly participate in the launch of new health plan products giving consumers greater choice and access to value-based health care services.

Together Health Network is a Michigan LLC that will work with payers to develop a wide range of health plan products, including those purchased on the Health Insurance Marketplace and private exchanges. The advantage of Together Health Network is its ability to rapidly and efficiently achieve a state-wide presence with numerous access points and advanced care coordination services to benefit consumers, without merging assets. Together, the Michigan footprint of CHE Trinity Health and Ascension Health Michigan creates a geographic provider network that spans a majority of the state – it is estimated that 75% of Michiganders will be within 20 minutes of a Together Health Network provider.

"We believe this one-of-a-kind collaboration between two of the state's largest healthcare organizations will set a new standard for providing value-based healthcare in Michigan," said Patricia Maryland, Dr.PH, president of Health Care Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Ascension Health.

"Both Ascension and CHE Trinity Health have been performing at benchmark levels in terms of quality, while at the same time delivering care at cost levels well below the state average. This collaboration will allow us to combine our outstanding performances in terms of cost and quality into one, state-wide product unlike any other."

“Our new health delivery model, designed to help more people achieve better health, better care at lower cost, is led by physicians, driven by physicians and run by physicians," said Rick O'Connell, executive vice president, CHE Trinity Health and president of Trinity Health Division. "Our organizations have worked intentionally to align with physician partners, as evidenced by our joint relationships with payers, and our creative ventures with our physician organizations.”

Together Health Network will have a physician-majority board, a physician CEO, and physician led committees. The initial formation of Together Health Network began last fall when CHE Trinity Health and Ascension recognized that payers and employers demanded a new approach that focuses not solely on episodic care but rather a coordinated continuum of value-based services that keep populations healthy.

“In some ways, Together Health turns the tables on the ‘usual’ structure of health care delivery models,” says Paul Harkaway, MD, Together Health Network steering committee member and senior vice president of clinical integration, CHE Trinity Health. “Physicians make the care delivery decisions that provide the best care and value to patients and their insurance providers. Our respective health systems are more or less the silent partners ensuring a robust continuum of services to support the care.”

According to Scott Eathorne, MD, one of the architects of Together Health Network and president of Partners in Care, one of the largest physician-hospital organizations in the state, "Population health management is first and foremost what our physicians and hospitals work together to do every day, starting with the individual patients they care for and working collaboratively to improve the health of the communities of people they serve. Who better to operate a network devoted to improving population health than the provider community itself?"

The establishment of Together Health Network is an outgrowth of the two organizations’ mutual commitment to Catholic health care. Patients will benefit from this collaboration in numerous ways, including convenient access to care through the broadest (geographically) provider network in Michigan and direct access to providers with proven track records of quality and cost efficiency. The Network contains hundreds of physician offices and outpatient centers along with over two dozen hospitals. It also offers an array of complementary services across the care continuum including skilled nursing, long term care and senior living, home health and hospice, and durable medical equipment.

Together Health Network will spend upcoming months establishing its CEO and leadership team, negotiating contracts, adding participating physicians and physician organizations, and building its integrated infrastructure. For more information, visit http://www.togetherhealthnetwork.org.

About CHE Trinity Health - Michigan

CHE Trinity Health - Michigan is a leading health care provider and one of the state's largest employers, with almost 29,000 colleagues serving 31 counties and providing the full continuum of care for Michigan's residents through 13 hospitals, which include the six hospitals of Saint Joseph Mercy Health System in Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Livingston, Livonia, Oakland and Port Huron, and seven-hospital Mercy Health operating in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Grayling and Cadillac. The systems also operate numerous ambulatory sites, nine nursing homes, 27 CHE Trinity Senior Living Communities, 10 home health care agencies and six hospices. Nationally, CHE Trinity Health is the second-largest Catholic health care system in the country. Based in Livonia, Mich., CHE Trinity Health operates in 20 states, employs nearly 87,000 people, has annual operating revenues of about $13.3 billion and assets of about $19.3 billion. Additionally, the new organization returns almost $1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs.

About Ascension Health Michigan

The Michigan Health Ministries of Ascension Health include Borgess Health in Kalamazoo, Genesys Health System in Grand Blanc, St. John Providence Health System in Metro Detroit, St. Joseph Health System in Tawas and St. Mary’s of Michigan in Saginaw. Together, the health systems employ more than 30,000 associates and are a major economic driver in the state, with $1.5 billion in payroll each year. In fiscal year 2013, the Michigan Health Ministries provided more than $240 million in community benefit and care of the poor. Nationally, Ascension Health is leading the transformation of healthcare by providing the highest quality care to all, with special attention to those who are poor and vulnerable. Ascension Health, which provided $1.5 billion in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programs last year, is the nation’s largest Catholic and largest nonprofit health system. Its Mission-focused Health Ministries employ more than 155,000 associates serving in more than 1,900 sites of care in 23 states and the District of Columbia.


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