; Regence And Willamette Valley Health Solutions Announce New Accountable Care Initiative
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Press Release

Regence And Willamette Valley Health Solutions Announce New Accountable Care Initiative

Advanced model aims to improve patient experience, lower costs

July 15, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. - Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and Willamette Valley Health Solutions, an accountable care organization formed by Willamette Valley Medical Center in Yamhill County, Oregon, have joined forces on a new accountable care partnership intended to achieve the triple aim of lowering costs, advancing the health of patients in the Yamhill community, and improving their experience.

The agreement includes an innovative payment model that shifts from traditional fee-for-service arrangements to a population based model emphasizing quality and total cost of care. This will allow Regence to offer products with lower premiums compared to the current marketplace and add features aimed at engaging members in their healthcare decisions. The new payment model includes a risk-based accountable health program with shared incentive measures based on quality and cost benchmarks. Studies show that these collaborative, outcome-based health care models help improve quality of care and result in higher patient satisfaction.

"Agreements like this signal an exciting new direction for health care: more accountability, transparency, and a renewed focus on the health of a patient," said Richard Popiel, M.D. M.B.A, executive vice president of Health Care Services and chief medical officer for Regence.

"In partnership with our community physicians, Willamette Valley Medical Center is pleased to announce this collaboration with Regence which provides an outstanding opportunity for people in our community to benefit from a new, very affordable insurance plan," said Rosemari Davis, interim chief executive officer for Willamette Valley Medical Center. "Collaboration with the right partners to achieve truly accountable care will help both our community and our hospital thrive in this new era of health care. Bringing this new innovative care model to our community allows us to take our mission – delivering amazing care every time – even further as we will be working to keep people healthy. "

"We're excited to bring innovative, person-focused care to the greater Yamhill County area," said Don Antonucci, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. "Accountable care agreements with trusted partners like Willamette Valley Health Solutions allow Regence to deliver on our mission of improving the quality and cost of health care in communities across Oregon."

"Capella's vision is for each of our hospitals to be the center point for transforming the quality of life in their communities, focusing first on improving the health and well-being of every individual," said Michael Wiechart, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Capella Healthcare. "Delivering the highest quality of care and service, as Willamette Valley does, and forging innovative partnerships to help lower the cost of care, such as this one with Regence, are transforming our vision into reality."

The Willamette Valley Medical Center agreement is the latest as part of Regence's comprehensive Accountable Health strategy within the Regence family of companies in Oregon, Utah, Washington and Idaho to help foster collaborative physician-patient relationships that improve quality of care. Since 2007, Regence has worked with providers, employers, and individual members throughout its four-state region to implement collaborative care models.

Regence is currently developing additional collaborative arrangements with doctors and hospitals throughout the Northwest region. Announcements are anticipated in the coming weeks.

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a leading health plan in Oregon, with nearly 750,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, and is affiliated with Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Together, the companies serve more than two million members in the Northwest/Intermountain Region. The Regence affiliated companies are committed to improving the health of its members and communities, and to transforming the health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or www.twitter.com/RegenceOregon.

Willamette Valley Medical Center
Located in McMinnville, Oregon, Willamette Valley Medical Center (WVMC) is an 88-bed acute-care, full-service facility, fully accredited by The Joint Commission. The hospital employs more than 400 people at its current modern facility, which was built in 1996. WVMC features a 24-hour Emergency Department with round-the-clock imaging and laboratory services, a Critical Care Unit and a Senior Behavioral Health Services unit. WVMC also provides a host of other services including a full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient Surgical Services, a Family Birthing Center, Endoscopy, Cardiac Catheterization Lab, Cardioulmonary Services, Breast Center, Sleep Lab and Therapy Services. In addition, the hospital offers specialty services in the H. R. Hoover, MD, Cancer Center and the Wound Care Center. For more information, visit www.WVMCweb.com

Capella Healthcare
WVMC is a part of Capella Healthcare, which partners with communities to build strong local healthcare systems that are known for quality patient care. Based in Franklin, Tenn., Capella owns and/or operates 14 acute care and specialty hospital facilities in six states.  With the philosophy that all healthcare is local, Capella collaborates with each hospital's medical staff, board and community leadership to take care to the next level.  The company has access to significant leadership and financial resources, investing in its family of hospitals to strengthen and expand services and facilities. For more information, visit the www.CapellaHealthcare.com

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 103 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.