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New Collaborative Care Model to Manage Population Health
Bridges Health Partners to Improve Patient Care, Quality and Costs

(Pittsburgh, PA – June 12, 2017) Four independent, non-profit health system partners – Butler Health System, Excela Health System, St. Clair Hospital and Washington Health System – today announced the launch of a new model of healthcare delivery that promises higher quality of patient care at a lower cost.  Called Bridges Health Partners, the initiative reflects the formation of a clinically integrated network of providers in support of population health management, a growing national trend in recent years where healthcare delivery systems, community-based organizations and many other entities work together to improve health outcomes in the communities they serve.

Bridges Health Partners is a strategic response to healthcare reform and transition of reimbursement models by Federal, State and managed care payers, which encourage healthcare providers to maintain patients' overall good health. Bridges Health Partners is a physician-governed network of aligned community providers focused on patient experience, efficiency, quality, and outcomes improvement. This effort supports moving away from individual, fee-for-service medicine, believed to be a contributing factor in rising healthcare costs.  Within this new collaboration, inpatient, ambulatory, at-home and nursing home care provided by health practitioners and affiliates of Bridges Health Partners will be organized to focus on continuing to provide the highest quality patient care across a coordinated network.

Critical to the success of this initiative will be joint investment in a common infrastructure to enable access to information and analytics at the point of care, collaboratively designed care pathways, integrated care management, and supporting participating practices with performance reporting. This new infrastructure will enhance communication and provide the ability to track outcomes across the inpatient and ambulatory care network. Leveraging and coordinating existing programs, Bridges Health Partners care management programs and partnerships with post-acute care providers will expand to ensure a comprehensive approach to patients, regardless of where they receive care.

"How healthcare is organized, delivered and reimbursed is transforming toward population health management, which is why we are excited to launch Bridges Health Partners" said Charles R. Vargo, Interim Executive Director.  "Population health management means that primary-care physicians, specialists, community providers and hospital services familiar with a patient's unique needs work together to improve his or her health over a lifetime."  
Members who see Bridges Health Partners providers may notice a range of added benefits, whether they are healthy, dealing with acute illnesses, or have a chronic disease. They will have more convenient access to personalized care that takes into account the whole person.

Elliot Smith, M.D., Interim Medical Director of Bridges Health Partners said, "The network of independent practices, affiliates and health systems participating in this important work extends across the Pittsburgh market.  The positive impact from this physician-led collaboration will benefit patients, employers and payers in communities throughout Western Pennsylvania and the Tri-state area."

About Bridges Health Partners

Four independent non-profit health systems in the Pittsburgh metropolitan market and surrounding communities are the founding members of Bridges Health Partners, including Butler Health System, Excela Health System, St. Clair Hospital and Washington Health System.  Each partner system, along with their independent and employed medical staff are committed to transforming how healthcare services are delivered by implementing an integrated, regional network of care that supports all patient populations, no matter the payer. Together, Bridges Health Partners serve patients through a broad geography of outpatient, community-based and inpatient sites in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties.  
Our commitment to quality has been recognized by numerous national and independent authorities including HealthGrades, Truven Health Analytics, The Leapfrog Group, CareChex and U.S. News and World Report's High Performing Hospitals and Best Regional Hospitals, to name just a few.

The Bridges Health Partners network will comprise seven hospital campuses with over 1,450 licensed beds, over 1,000 employed and affiliated physicians with a network of primary care and specialty group practices, ambulatory surgery centers, urgent care clinics, imaging and diagnostic centers, skilled nursing, home health and hospice care.  The Bridges Health Partners are strong healthcare provider organizations individually; collectively, we are stronger, delivering the best quality of care at a lower cost to patients where they live and work.

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