Wellmark and Genesis Health System enter into Accountable Care Organization

Genesis is first ACO in the Quad Cities region

Wellmark Blue Cross Blue ShieldOn June 5, 2012 Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa officially announced a collaboration with Genesis Health System in Davenport to create an Accountable Care Organization (ACO). The new ACO will focus on coordinating patient care to improve quality, provide greater value, and slow increases in health care costs.

Genesis Health System President and CEO, Doug Cropper, said he looks forward to seeing improvements in the quality and reductions in the cost of care, adding, "This collaboration is the next important step of a process that began for Genesis two years ago when we made the commitment to participate in the transformation of health care. Wellmark and Genesis have a long, shared collaboration of serving our customers and patients with a high quality of care and a high level of efficiency.”

In an ACO, providers assume responsibility for managing a population of patients, both who are healthy  and those who are in need of care, no matter where in the system the patients receive care. Wellmark offers the providers financial rewards if they reach established quality goals and slow the rate in increase in health care spend in caring for these patients. At the same time, providers will not earn their financial incentive if their quality declines or their costs run higher than expected.

John Forsyth, Wellmark chairman and CEO said, “Wellmark is pleased to enter into this ACO agreement with Genesis Health System, to improve the health care experience, and to help slow the rate of cost increases. This ACO was created to keep healthy people well and improve outcomes for our members when they need care.”

The ACO will enhance Wellmark members’ care in a variety of ways:

• Providers encouraging their patients to take an active role in their health care.

• Continued freedom to see the doctors of their choice.

• Seamless customer experience when setting up an appointment, seeing multiple doctors, and receiving follow up care.

• A reduction of redundant care and services.

"This has been an extensive and rewarding process,” said William Langley, M.D., executive director of the Genesis Accountable Care Organization. “Since Genesis made the commitment to form an ACO two years ago, we have advanced to the point that it’s now a reality. We are looking forward to collaborating with Wellmark to keep the population we serve healthy."

About Wellmark

Wellmark, Inc. (www.Wellmark.com) does business as Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa. Wellmark and its subsidiaries and affiliated companies, including Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc., insure or pay health benefit claims for more than 2 million members in Iowa and South Dakota. Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Dakota, and Wellmark Health Plan of Iowa, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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