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IBC, Abington Health, Lumeris pen accountable care pact

An accountable care initiative comprising Philadelphia-based insurer Independence Blue Cross, local provider group Abington Health and St. Louis-based tech firm Lumeris, will be among the first of its kind in greater Philadelphia, with doctors having a 360-degree view of a patient's care across specialists and physicians, hospitals and clinics from all networks.

Under the agreement, Lumeris will aggregate and interpret data from Independence's 30,000 members being served at Abington, and the company will consult Abington's 200 physicians on creating strategies to address at-risk patients with chronic conditions while jointly developing best practices for treatment.

Independence Blue Cross president and CEO Daniel Hilferty said in a media statement  the company is welcoming "the new era of accountable care, with progressive programs that help transform the delivery and quality of health care."

The accountable care initiative, Hilferty said, "advances our organization's efforts to share real-time data with physicians and hospitals, improve collaboration and coordination, and provide safe, high-quality, and cost-effective care for consumers."

"Partnering with IBC in the exchange of timely and more robust patient information will allow us to better provide quality-driven, highly coordinated, integrated health care and supports our mission to improve the health of our community," Laurence Merlis, president and CEO of Abington Health, said in the press release.

The initiative is a part of Independence Blue Cross' accountable care payment model, which rewards doctors and hospitals for delivering higher quality, better coordinated and more efficient care. Lumeris and IBC will be evaluating the initiative's success based on Abington Health's performance on metrics such as hospital-acquired infection rates and breast cancer screening, with the goal of expanding the initiative to other hospitals.

Last year Independence Blue Cross partnered with Highmark, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Lumeris to acquire NaviNet, one of the largest real-time secure communication network for doctors, which Lumeris is delivering to physician desktops via the NaviNet portal.

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