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July 24, 2017

Independence Blue Cross, Jefferson Health reach five-year agreement

Innovation Collaboration program aims to improve quality of care and reduce costs across region

Business Health Care
011315_Jefferson_Carroll Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Jefferson University Hospital in Center City Philadelphia.

Independence Blue Cross and Jefferson Health announced their commitment Monday to a new five-year agreement that extends their existing collaboration to improve the health of the region and reduce the cost of care.

With the new agreement in place, Jefferson Health joins the Independence Facilitated Health Networks (FHN) model, an approach that aligns health insurers and health systems to improve quality and lower costs for members and patients.

“We are proud to have a new, long-term agreement with Jefferson Health, an institution that shares our drive to transform health care in this region and across the country,” Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO at Independence, said in a statement. “The agreement reflects a strong, innovative partnership and demonstrates the bold leadership that has made Jefferson a national leader in delivering improved patient care and health outcomes.”

Jefferson Health's commitment to the FHN model will see the two organizations working together to provide team-based care that leverages technology to monitor patient progress in all settings—at home, in the hospital or through JeffConnect, the region's specialty telehealth service.

Independence Blue Cross and Jefferson Health established their Innovation Collaboration in 2015, combining forces to promote health technology development through hack-a-thons and other events. The partnership has already yielded practical advances in augmented intelligence, predictive data analytics, virtual reality and drone technology.

“We have a unique opportunity in this new, expanded relationship with Independence to achieve our vision of reimagining health care, education and discovery to create value and improve lives. Jefferson is committed to bringing tomorrow’s health care to Philadelphia today and we have an innovative partner in Independence,” said Stephen K. Klasko, president and CEO at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.

Klasko added that the partnership will build off Jefferson Health's recently announced relationship with GE Healthcare, now the largest risk-sharing partnership in the United States. The eight-year collaboration is focused on capturing efficiencies in hospital operations and other care-related processes, recouping up to $1 billion in costs.

The new five-year deal with Independence Blue Cross will seek broader implementation of telehealth and virtual care services, new applications for integrative medicine, expanded disease management programs, and new efforts to address health disparities among cancer patients.

When the agreement takes effect Sept. 1, the following facilities and physician practice groups will be participating:

•Thomas Jefferson University Hospital (TJUH) and TJUH’s Methodist Hospital

•Abington Hospital and Abington – Lansdale Hospital

•Jefferson University Physicians

•Jefferson Urgent Care

•Jefferson University Radiology Associates

•Abington Health Physicians

•Aria Health

•Aria Health Physicians

Learn more about the Facilitated Health Networks model here.

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