Providence, Swedish Health Launch Employer-Driven ACO

John Commins, July 7, 2014

Boeing is the first employer to sign up with the accountable care organization offered jointly by Providence Health & Services and Swedish Medical Center. It is one of several employer-sponsored plans available in the Seattle area.

Seattle's Providence Health & Services and Swedish Medical Center are launching what they're calling one of the nation's first employer-driven accountable care organizations.

Boeing, with about 75,000 employees in the Seattle area, is the first company to sign up with the ACO, which will launch on Jan. 1, 2015.

Joe Gifford, MD, CEO of the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance, says the ACO will give Boeing employees and their families access to a full range of medical services from primary care to subspecialties.

"The part that is most notable about this is two-fold," Gifford says. "One is its scale. This is not a pilot. This is a huge chunk of the Boeing workforce. The other is that it is a direct offering for the employees of Boeing… the insurer plays a part, but is not the primary player at the table."

"The insurance company truly is there at the table but doing very specific things and the real direct arrangement is between the employer and the delivery systems," he says.

John Commins

John Commins is a senior editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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