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Geisinger, Highmark eye joint venture to create clinical network

That initial focus includes developing an affordable model of care through a network of community-based sites.

Jeff Lagasse, Associate Editor

Geisinger Health System and Highmark have signaled their intent to create a joint clinical venture, with the aim of enabling better patient choice when it comes to community-based healthcare.

The organizations have signed a letter of intent that allows them to explore the venture in greater detail. Discussions at this point have revolved around the creation of a clinical network, concentrated largely in north-central Pennsylvania, which is physician-oriented and community-based, with comprehensive access for Highmark and Geisinger Health Plan members, including those in Medicare Advantage Plans.

That initial focus includes developing an affordable model of care through a network of community-based sites, including a comprehensive health campus in the Montoursville area.

[Also: Geisinger Health system unveils Geisinger Nursing Institute aimed at governing, advocacy]

The goal of that new facility "will be to deliver important medical services and clinical capabilities in the local community that are complementary to the advanced tertiary services available at Geisinger Medical Center," said Lynn Miller, Geisinger's executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Clinical Enterprise, in a statement. He said the companies are currently assessing what the appropriate monetary investment would be.

They're also working with physician groups to ensure that consumers will maintain access to care during the process, particularly in light of large provider system mergers.

Geisinger locations in north central Pennsylvania include physician practice sites offering both primary care and subspecialty outreach services in Montoursville and Lock Haven, a CareWorks urgent care facility in Williamsport, a pediatric specialty services practice in South Williamsport, a Life Flight helicopter base in Montoursville, and the new Geisinger Gastroenterology and Geisinger Endoscopy sites in Montoursville.

Twitter: @JELagasse

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