Scripps Announces ACO-like Integrated Delivery Network

Cheryl Clark, June 13, 2011

Scripps Health has entered a partnership with North American Medical Management to build an integrated care network/accountable care organization with 14 physician groups for between 500,000 to 750,000 San Diegans.

"The Scripps IDN (integrated delivery network) will support the alignment of patients, hospitals, providers and payors in promoting care coordination," Scripps said in a Friday news release.

The network will build the infrastructure to allow Scripps and NAMM –affiliated physician groups to "respond to alternative care management arrangements."

In an e-mail Sunday, Scripps CEO Chris Van Gorder confirmed that the entity will function much like an accountable care organization. However, Van Gorder and many other hospital CEOs and physician leaders say they have too many concerns about the excessive risk and capital outlay required to qualify as an ACO under proposed rules introduced two months ago by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

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"We will remain skeptical (about CMS' proposed rule) until we see the new regulations introduced," Van Gorder wrote. "But we intend to continuing to pursue 'accountable care' since we believe it can reduce costs and improve quality.

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