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2010 press releases

Advocate Health Care Clinical Integration Model featured in National Health Journal

Health Affairs recognizes Advocate's Highly Successful Clinical Integration Program

Oak Brook, Ill. -Over the past seven years, Advocate Health Care, one of the nation's top ten health systems, through Advocate Physician Partners (APP) has established itself as a national leader in Clinical Integration (CI). In mid October, Advocate's CI program garnered more national attention after its leaders signed a landmark deal with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, the state's largest insurance company, paving the way for its new benchmark care delivery system, AdvocateCare.

This new approach, consistent with the Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, will be profiled in Health Affairs January issue, which focuses on the Integration of Independent Physicians to ACOs. "Over the last decade we have learned from our Clinical Integration Program that investment in coordinated care translates into healthier patients," said Lee Sacks, M.D., Advocate's executive vice president and chief medical officer. "AdvocateCare is the next step in hardwiring an affordable solution while offering higher quality and we are delighted Health Affairs is bringing our model to the forefront of the national discussion on health care."

In late September, Washington administration officials met with Advocate executive leaders to learn how its CI program may be used to help the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), as it prepares to draft ACO regulation to benefit millions of Medicare recipients nationwide. The primary goal of an ACO is to deliver coordinated, efficient health care and control run-away costs by creating collaboration among hospitals, physicians, patients and payers.  As part of the CMS demonstration project, ACO participants may share financial gains generated from improved clinical economic performance, provided that quality goals and patient safeguards are met. CMS plans to implement an ACO option by January 2012.

As part of the January Health Affairs article, released today as a Web First, Advocate leaders provide insight into how an ACO model might be structured. The composition is co-authored by Dr. Sacks, Marty Manning, APP president, Advocate's vice president of medical management and senior medical director, APP, Mark Shields, M.D. and Pankaj Patel, M.D., APP medical director, quality improvement.     

APP is a collaboration of 3,600 employed and independent physicians and Advocate, which is comprised of 250 sites of care including ten hospitals and two integrated children's hospitals serving more than one million residents in the Chicagoland area.

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About Advocate Health Care
Advocate Health Care, one of the nation's top 10 health systems, based on clinical performance, is the largest health system in Illinois and one of the largest health care providers in the Midwest. Advocate operates more than 250 sites of care, including 10 acute care hospitals, two integrated children's hospitals, five Level I trauma centers (the state's highest designation in trauma care),two Level II trauma centers, one of the area's largest home health care companies and one of the region's largest medical groups. Advocate Health Care trains more primary care physicians and residents at its three major teaching hospitals than any other health system in the state. As a not-for-profit, mission-based health system affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ, Advocate contributed $462 million in charitable care and services to communities across Chicagoland in 2009.

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