Medical College, health systems launch regional partnership

03/13/2012

MILWAUKEE – Bellin Health is among a group of regional health care organizations that recently partnered to launch an accountable care strategy and other health care initiatives.

The partnership, Quality Health Solutions, Inc., represents 28 hospitals in Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula along with 4,000 affiliated physicians. The organization members have a combined net revenue of nearly $6 billion. Members include Bellin Health, Green Bay; Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac; Aspirus, Wausau; and Columbia St. Mary’s, Froedtert Health, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and the Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

“We have a history of partnering with organizations and groups with the goal of enhancing the overall health and wellness of our communities,” said George Kerwin, president and CEO at Bellin. “The regional partnership with Quality Health Solutions is one such venture. We look forward to working together to enhance the overall health and wellness of residents in our region.”

Reducing health care costs while standardizing quality was the impetus for Quality Health Solutions, said Peter Pruessing, CEO of Quality Health Solutions. “We are aligning our existing resources, such as hospitals, clinics and physician groups, across a broad geographic area to create a coordinated health care network that gives employers and patients tremendous choice about the kind of care they receive and where they receive it,” he said.

Quality Health Solutions members are working to become clinically integrated in order to assure high quality care that is efficient and cost effective, according to Pruessing. He defined clinical integration as a network of otherwise independent providers who adhere to common quality standards and are linked by a common clinical information platform to control costs and ensure quality.

According to Pruessing, the goal of Quality Health Solutions is to link multiple independent health systems in different geographic areas in an arrangement enabling them to act as a single integrated entity while preserving local relationships.

"It’s a way of connecting community assets across a large geography to create value," he said. "We are improving health care through the discipline of clinical integration."