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AtlantiCare / Geisinger News and Views

Articles and commentary covering the announcement of the AtlantiCare-Geisinger Letter of Intent

HealthLeaders Media, Geisinger, AtlantiCare Enter ‘Integration’ Talks

Posted online 11-15-13, by John Commins
http://www.healthleadersmedia.com/print/LED-298387/Geisinger-AtlantiCare-Enter-Integration-Talks

Current/Shore News Today, AtlantiCare and Geisinger sign letter of intent to benefit patient care

Posted online 11-14-13 at 4:51 p.m.
http://www.shorenewstoday.com/snt/news/index.php/galloway-twp/galloway-twp-general-news/46533-atlanticare-and-geisinger-sign-letter-of-intent-to-benefit-patient-care.html

Roonte.com, AtlantiCare, Geisinger plan health-care partnership

Posted online 11-15-13, links to Philadelphia Inquirer article of 11-13-13 by Harold Brubaker
http://www.roonte.com/www/atlanticare-geisinger-plan-healthcare-partnership

About Geisinger Health System

Geisinger Health System is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®.

As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 20,800 employees, including a 1,000-member multi-specialty group practice, seven hospital campuses, two research centers and a 448,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $6.1 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy.

The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service.

For more information, visit www.geisinger.org, or follow the latest Geisinger news and more on Twitter and Facebook.

Glossary

A+ Rated Health Organization

Overall financial profile, including liquidity and debt service.
(http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20130611006272/en/Fitch-Affirms-AtlantiCare-Health-System-Rev-Bonds)

Affordable Care Act

The comprehensive healthcare reform law enacted in March 2010. The name “Affordable Care Act” is used to refer to the final, amended version of the law. (https://www.healthcare.gov/glossary/affordable-care-act/)

AtlantiCare Physician Group

AtlantiCare Physician Group, a physician-owned corporation, provides the highest-quality, most convenient healthcare to our community. Services include primary care (family medicine and internal medicine), OB/GYN, urgent care, neurology, bariatric surgery, general surgery and vascular surgery. (http://www.atlanticarepg.com/)

Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award

AtlantiCare is a 2009 recipient of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, the nation’s highest presidential honor for quality and organizational performance excellence. (http://www.atlanticare.org/index.php/awards-a-recognition)

Centers of Excellence

Specific clinical areas of expertise, which are a magnet for patients in the regional service area and beyond. AtlantiCare has seven Centers of Excellence, recognized for their exceptional patient care and customer service: Joint Institute, Cancer Care Institute, Heart Institute, Neurosciences Institute, Center for Surgical Weight Loss, Women’s Health and Wellness, and Level 2 Trauma Center.

Geisinger Health Insurance

Geisinger Health Plan (GHP) has approximately 290,000 members and is consistently recognized for quality. A not-for-profit health maintenance organization (HMO), the plan serves the healthcare needs of members in 43 counties throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, and in New Jersey. GHP continues to develop new products to help meet employers’ needs for plan options. “Solutions” is a variation of the standard HMO with a lower premium due to increased cost sharing for some services. Geisinger Health Plan Direct offers HMO coverage without the need for a referral. “Geisinger Choice” PPO products are available through Geisinger Quality Options, Inc., an affiliate of GHP. These options provide more flexibility in plan design and premium than the standard HMO. (http://www.thehealthplan.com/index.cfm)

Geisinger Health System

Geisinger Health System (GHS) is an integrated health services organization widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development and implementation of innovative care models including ProvenHealth Navigator®, an advanced medical home model, and ProvenCare® program. GHS serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. (http://www.geisinger.org/)

Letter of Intent

A document outlining an agreement between two or more parties before the agreement is finalized.

Mainland Campus Transformation Project

The 35,000-square-foot expansion of the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s Mainland Campus in Galloway, which will include an addition to the hospital, upgrades to the existing facility and additional enhancements. (http://www.atlanticare.org/index.php/news-feed/913-atlanticare-board-approves-armc-mainland-campus-transformation-project)

Population Health

The systematic management of health outcomes relative to cost of a group of individuals.

ProvenCare®

Geisinger’s intensive treatment program that ensures that the best care is delivered to patients at the right cost and in the right setting. (http://www.geisinger.org/provencare/)

Special Care Center

AtlantiCare’s Special Care Centers feature a nationally recognized team-based care model for patients with complex and/or chronic conditions. The team includes a primary care physician, a personal health coach who is by the patient’s side every step of the way to keep the care team informed of the care plan and progress, as well as other clinical experts. The SCCs also feature convenient on-site pharmacies. (http://www.atlanticare.org/index.php/special-care-center)

Triple Aim Goals

A framework developed by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement focusing on improving the patient experience of care; improving the health of populations; and reducing the per capita cost of healthcare. Simply, delivering quality outcomes and experience for less cost for a group or population of people. (http://www.ihi.org/offerings/Initiatives/TripleAim/Pages/default.aspx)

ADVERTORIAL

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Press Release

Town Talks Meeting Schedule

FAQs

Glossary

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why is AtlantiCare joining Geisinger?

AtlantiCare believes that joining Geisinger will strengthen its ability to innovate healthcare and improve the quality, experience and value for patients and the communities we serve—ensuring access well into the future.

The Affordable Care Act, signed into law in 2010, signaled a fundamental change in the way healthcare would be delivered in the future.  Health systems like Geisinger and AtlantiCare embraced the opportunity to lead change by developing and adopting new models of care that can deliver more value to the healthcare consumer. For example, Geisinger’s ProvenCare® and AtlantiCare’s Special Care Center are nationally acclaimed models that have successfully produced quality outcomes and improved experiences for patients at less cost overall.

For more than 25 years, we have taken bold steps to advance our vision of building healthy communities, including forming the AtlantiCare health system and achieving the Baldrige recognition in 2009.  This is another milestone in our journey. By joining forces, these two like-minded, high-quality and financially strong organizations hope to combine their collective population health capabilities, and capital and intellectual assets to improve the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve—from Pennsylvania to southeastern New Jersey.

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Who is Geisinger?

Geisinger Health System (GHS), headquartered in Danville, Pennsylvania, is a national thought leader in population health. With over $3 billion in annual revenue, the integrated health services organization is widely recognized for its innovative use of the electronic health record, and the development of innovative care models such as ProvenHealth Navigator® and ProvenCare®.

As the nation’s largest rural health services organization, Geisinger serves more than 2.6 million residents throughout 44 counties in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. The physician-led system is comprised of more than 20,800 employees, including a 1,000-member multi-specialty group practice, seven hospital campuses, two research centers and a 413,000-member health plan, all of which leverage an estimated $6.1 billion positive impact on the Pennsylvania economy.

The health system and the health plan have repeatedly garnered national accolades for integration, quality and service. In addition to fulfilling its patient care mission, Geisinger has a long-standing commitment to medical education, research and community service.

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How did you select Geisinger?

During a thorough year-long process, AtlantiCare thoughtfully considered partners that could help us achieve our vision of building healthy communities and advance the organization for future generations. Some of our guiding principles included: commitment to our community and our employees, cultural and strategic compatibility, physician alignment and management expertise, financial strength, and a population health focus and competency. The health and wellbeing of our community is our top priority and has guided decisions with regard to this opportunity. We determined that Geisinger was the best option and met many of our objectives.

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Is AtlantiCare being bought?

AtlantiCare will become an affiliate of Geisinger Health System. Geisinger and AtlantiCare have committed to investing more than $175 million in our strategies to improve healthcare delivery, to expand access and to innovate and grow our services.

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What other partners did you look at? Did you look at local hospitals?

Yes, we considered a number of local, regional and nationally recognized systems as potential partners.  Through our rigorous process and our guiding principles, we were able to identify the ones that were most likely to be compatible with our unique culture and shared our population health focus and capability.

Geisinger shares our passion around building healthy communities and has the experience and capabilities to produce meaningful outcomes with us.

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What happens if AtlantiCare decides not to join Geisinger?

AtlantiCare will remain independent but pursue other opportunities with strategic, consultative and clinical partners.

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How long will it take to complete the agreement?

The due diligence and approval process is expected to take approximately 9-12 months.  During this time, the two organizations will analyze this opportunity in more detail.

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Will the AtlantiCare name/brand go away?

No, our healthcare organization will still be known as AtlantiCare and will carry a tagline that identifies our affiliation with Geisinger Health System.

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Is AtlantiCare experiencing financial difficulty?

AtlantiCare, an A+ rated healthcare organization, is financially strong and continues to experience positive performance and robust growth this year.  AtlantiCare comes into this membership from a position of strength.

AtlantiCare and Geisinger will merge the strengths of two high-quality organizations that can achieve even better outcomes for the people of Pennsylvania and southeastern New Jersey.

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Is Geisinger paying for AtlantiCare?

No, Geisinger and AtlantiCare have committed to an investment of more than $175 million over the next five years to upgrade tools and technology, improve clinical quality, enhance care delivery, and expand access to services. 

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Will AtlantiCare be run by people in Pennsylvania? Will AtlantiCare have seats on the board?

AtlantiCare will continue to have local autonomy in operating our business and providing services to the region.  We will be represented by local community members on the Geisinger Board, its Insurance Boards, and its Executive Committee. Geisinger will also have representation on our Boards.

By joining Geisinger, we will preserve access for our community to high quality care by ensuring an economically viable organization well into the future.

In the end, both Geisinger and AtlantiCare want to make people in our communities healthier.  Together, we believe we can.

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How will AtlantiCare's patients experience the change?  What does this mean for our community?

Patients will benefit from us joining Geisinger, especially as we adopt Geisinger’s proven models of care that can help improve access to more affordable care with quality outcomes that are meaningful to them. Geisinger is expected to share its nationally renowned models— ProvenCare® and ProvenHealth Navigator® with AtlantiCare providers and staff. 

Our community will also benefit from our ability to invest further in information systems and other innovations that help us achieve outcomes that are meaningful to our community.  As these additional investments in technology and new processes take place, employers will likely see the cost of healthcare decline.

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Will my doctor still be available at AtlantiCare?

Yes, patients will still have access to their doctors at AtlantiCare.

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Will AtlantiCare refer patients to Pennsylvania?

The safety and wellbeing of our patients is a top priority. We offer many tertiary services through our Centers of Excellence. We will continue to provide those services here in our community.

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What will happen to AtlantiCare’s current clinical affiliations?

We will honor all current affiliations through the terms of the present contracts and determine what is best for the community as we move forward.

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Will this impact health insurance coverage?

No, AtlantiCare has arrangements with most major insurers and will continue to honor those relationships. We expect that people in our community will have more options as a result of our affiliation with Geisinger.  

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Will Geisinger Health Plan® provide insurance in our region?

Geisinger Health Plan® is licensed in our region and will be able to provide coverage to consumers and employers.

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Will this affect the ARMC Mainland Campus expansion?

No, we will continue with the planned Mainland expansion project.

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Does Geisinger have experience with mergers, partnerships or affiliations, or is this the first one they have done?

Yes, Geisinger has completed a number of different arrangements with healthcare systems regionally and, through Geisinger Health Plan®, even nationally.  Most recently, Holy Spirit Health System, Camp Hill, PA, and Geisinger signed a letter of intent to affiliate.  Previously, Community Medical Center in Scranton, Shamokin Area Community Hospital in Coal Township, PA, Bloomsburg Hospital in Bloomsburg, PA, and Lewistown Hospital in Lewistown, PA, became members of the Geisinger family. Geisinger has many affiliations through its consulting company to bring clinical innovation and care models to other providers and systems. 

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Where can I find more information about this announcement (or Geisinger)?

You can learn more about Geisinger and the possible affiliation by visiting the web site at www.atlanticare.org/announcement

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Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award      Nursing Magnet Recognition  Healthcare Equality Index Leader 2014