Health Net of California, Inc., a subsidiary of Health Net, Inc. (NYSE: HNT), and leading San Francisco health care providers Hill Physicians Medical Group, UCSF Medical Center, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, and both St. Mary’s Medical Center and Saint Francis Memorial Hospital of Dignity Health, have formed an accountable care arrangement for University of California (UC) employees living or working in San Francisco, similar to an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). Implementation is pending regulatory approval by the California Department of Managed Health Care.
“This arrangement is modeled on the structure of ACOs, aligning incentives and promoting better care coordination, which is an important element of improving health,” said Darryl Cardoza, CEO of Hill Physicians.
ACOs are organizations of health care providers that are accountable to both patients and themselves for the quality, cost and overall care experience. Rather than serving Medicare patients, as an ACO does, the arrangement will serve UC members/enrollees in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“This collaboration represents some of the strongest aspects of accountable care by bringing together some of the best known health care providers and focusing on the key principles of affordability, quality and innovation,” said Steve Sell, president of Health Net, Inc.’s Western Region Health Plan.“We fully anticipate that this arrangement will foster more frequent communication among all the involved medical providers, which will give patients more support and a better quality of care,” said Glenna Vaskelis, SVP Operations, Bay Area Service Area of Dignity Health. “Ultimately our goal is to improve patient care and satisfaction as a whole while containing costs.” “This accountable care arrangement moves our organizations and the patients we serve into a future where traditional barriers to coordinated, integrated and efficient care can be eliminated, and the focus can be squarely placed on providing what our patients need,” said Josh Adler, MD, chief medical officer, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. “I believe this new model will be a significant step forward for UC employees.”