Regional HealthShare Exchange to Improve Quality, Lower Costs

Local Hospitals and Insurers Create First Health Information Exchange in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Marketwired

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - May 09, 2013) -  A new non-profit company, HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. (HealthShare Exchange), is creating the first health information exchange for southeastern PA. HealthShare Exchange will securely transmit health care data among hospitals, doctors, other health care providers and insurers to improve communication and the efficient delivery of care. HealthShare Exchange is being funded by more than 90 percent of the acute care hospitals in the Philadelphia region, the area's largest health insurer Independence Blue Cross (IBC), AmeriHealth Caritas, one of the nation's leaders in health care solutions for the underserved, Health Partners, a Philadelphia-based, not-for-profit health plan owned by a group of local hospitals, and state and federal grants.

"HealthShare Exchange represents a significant opportunity to produce meaningful benefits for our entire health care system," said Martin Lupinetti, HealthShare Exchange's Acting Executive Director. "Because our region has no dominant health system and a large concentration of systems in the region, the investment in this exchange has the potential for significant return on investment."

While doctors and hospitals have made great strides in developing electronic health records, HealthShare Exchange goes a step beyond that, providing a way for health systems to communicate more efficiently with each other," said Karen Thomas, Main Line Health's Chief Information Officer and Vice Chair of HealthShare Exchange. "The transfer of vital patient information between hospitals and primary care physicians will greatly improve transitions of care as patients may seek services at different health systems during a given period of time."

According to an analysis of claims data by IBC, up to 50 percent of patients that require a hospital readmission within 30 days of discharge return to hospitals other than those where the patient was first treated. More often than not, the treating providers do not receive a timely discharge report as hospitals often do not know all of the treating physicians.

"Lack of information about hospital stays and ER visits can hamper primary care physicians' ability to provide the most effective follow-up care for their patients," said Dr. Richard Snyder, Chief Medical Officer at IBC and Chair of the HealthShare Exchange Board of Trustees. "Comprehensive patient care information will help doctors make more informed decisions that lead to higher quality care."

HealthShare Exchange will begin by providing two important clinical service areas focused on improving quality of care and reducing healthcare costs in the region: 

  • Sending timely discharge information to all treating physicians and other care coordination team members. This will improve the transition of care from hospitals by "pushing" information from the hospital to the patient's providers that could include primary care physicians, specialists and other care coordination team members within a few hours of a patient's discharge. Today, many primary care physicians only learn of a discharge when the patient calls for a follow-up appointment, if the patient calls.
  • Delivering clinical activity and medication history to physicians, hospitals, and other care providers on demand at the point of care. This will improve care and reduce medication errors by making timely and accurate patient clinical activity and medication history available to authorized providers.

"What makes our region's exchange unique is the collaboration among hospitals and insurers, which was the basis for how this exchange began," added Lupinetti. "Insurers provide added information that hospitals don't have such as all the doctors a patient sees, medications, and tests. This collaboration will be even more important in the future as the need to control health costs increases."

About HealthShare Exchange of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc. 

HealthShare Exchange is a nonprofit organization created in May of 2012. This health information exchange is responsible for the creation, support and facilitation of exchanging clinical information across the provider community in Chester, Delaware, Bucks, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties. To learn more about this organization and how the exchange of health information will improve patient outcomes and reduce cost, please visit www.hsxsepa.org.

About the Delaware Valley Healthcare Council

Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of HAP advocates for southeastern Pennsylvania hospital and health care-related organizations including more than 50 acute and specialty care hospitals and health systems, 30 facilities providing inpatient behavioral health services, and 20 facilities providing rehabilitation. Additional information about it is available online at www.dvhc.org.

About Independence Blue Cross

Proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013, Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania serving more than seven million people nationwide, including 2.1 million in the region. We are enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About the Health Care Improvement Foundation

The Health Care Improvement Foundation is an independent, not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the vision that, through an engaged, collaborative community, the southeastern Pennsylvania region benefits from a high-performing healthcare delivery system demonstrating enhanced measures of safety, quality, and effectiveness. HCIF leads health care improvement initiatives by engaging multi-stakeholder resources to implement solutions that no market participant could achieve individually. www.hcifonline.org.

About AmeriHealth Caritas

AmeriHealth Caritas is one of the nation's leaders in health care solutions for the underserved. AmeriHealth Caritas operates in 13 states and serves more than 4.7 million Medicaid, Medicare and CHIP members through its integrated Medicaid managed care products, pharmaceutical benefit management services, behavioral health services and other administrative services. Headquartered in Philadelphia, AmeriHealth Caritas is a mission-driven company with 30 years of experience serving low-income and chronically ill populations. For more information, visit www.amerihealthcaritas.com.

About HealthPartners

Health Partners is a not-for-profit health plan serving nearly 170,000 members in the Greater Philadelphia region. Its HealthChoices Medicaid plan consistently ranks number one in the area for member satisfaction in an annual consumer survey, and was the first plan in the nation to receive the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Multicultural Health Care Distinction. In 2009, the company launched KidzPartners, which provides free or low-cost health insurance to uninsured children and teens through CHIP, Pennsylvania's Children's Health Insurance Program. Founded more than 25 years ago, Health Partners is one of the few hospital-owned health plans in the country and has received national recognition for its innovations in managed care. It has also been ranked a top place to work by national and regional publications. For more information about Health Partners, please visit www.healthpart.com.

About Main Line Health

Founded in 1985, Main Line Health is a non-profit health system serving portions of Philadelphia and its western suburbs. At its core are four of the region's respected acute care hospitals -- Lankenau Medical Center, Bryn Mawr Hospital, Paoli Hospital and Riddle Hospital -- as well as one of the nation's premier facilities for rehabilitative medicine, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital; Mirmont Treatment Center for drug and alcohol recovery; and the Home Care Network, a home health service. Main Line Health hospitals, with more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, are the recipients of numerous awards for quality care and service, including recognition among Truven Health Analytics' list of Top 100 Hospitals and Magnet®, the nation's highest honor for nursing excellence. Main Line Health is among the area's leaders in medicine, providing advanced patient-centered care, education and research to help our community stay healthy.

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Contact:
Contact information
Media contacts:

Martin Lupinetti 
Interim Executive Director 
HealthShare Exchange 
martin.lupinetti@northhighland.com
215-575-3725

Priscilla Koutsouradis
Communications Director
Delaware Valley Healthcare Council of HAP
priscillak@dvhc.org
215-575-3743

Ruth Stoolman
Public Relations Manager
Independence Blue Cross
Ruth.stoolman@ibx.com
215-241-4807
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