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Women's Health Services Hold 'Significant' Potential in ACOs

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media, September 21, 2011

Other speakers were Michael Spine, senior vice-president, business development, for Bon Secours, and two officials from Geisinger Health System, Danville, PA: Harry O. Mateer Jr., MD, FACOG, director of obstetrics and gynecology, and Ruth Nolan, PhD(c), RNC, vice president of operations, women's health service line.

"Gender-specific care for women is just now starting to be explored," Graf said. "It has significant potential in an ACO environment."

Nationally, maternal fetal medicine (MFM) procedures expect a 9% volume increase; including a 16% increase in telemedicine, and 20% increase in high-level ultrasounds. There also are anticipated increases in gynecological subspecialties, such as pelvic floor disease, 27%; ovarian cancer, 10%, and uterine cancer, 11%, according to Graf. 

Those figures buttress reports that 55% of health systems expect women's service lines to become more significant, he added, with "continuum of care in obstetrics" becoming more important.

Bon Secours is working to improve its perinatal program in a model similar to that initiated by the Geisinger Health System. Graf noted that Bon Secours is considering a co-management program to engage private and employed providers in an accountable care organization type structure, in an effort to increase revenue and generate improved patient outcomes. "There [are] margins out there, but in areas we have yet explored," Graf said, referring to profitability potential within the service line.

Geisinger initiated Perinatal ProvenCare, a program to improve efficiency and outcomes in obstetrics care, says Mateer.

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