Huntington Memorial Hospital was one of 18 California healthcare organizations to receive grant money from Blue Shield of California, to effectively develop an accountable care organization (ACO).
"We were very pleased to receive these funds from Blue Shield,” said Stephen A. Ralph, Huntington Hospital president and chief executive officer. “It will allow us to hit the ground running as we partner with our physicians to look at new, more efficient structures of delivering quality healthcare to the community."
ACOs are arrangements among those who provide healthcare such as hospitals and physicians and private health plans who pay for these services. The idea is to promote greater efficiency and a higher level of care through provider alignment. ACOs were born out of the healthcare reform agenda.
Huntington Hospital applied for a grant of $980,000 to support Health Information Exchange efforts, in which seamless sharing of healthcare information between providers reduces duplication, redundancy and the possibility of errors, to expand the hospital’s Patient Partnership Program, designed to enhance the continuum of care, to decrease hospital readmissions for the same illness and to unburden an emergency department in which individuals are seeking primary care.
ACO grants are part of Blue Shield’s Two Percent Pledge which limits their annual income net revenue in order to return the difference above that amount to its members.
Huntington Memorial Hospital is a 626-bed not-for-profit hospital that is home to the only trauma center in the San Gabriel Valley. Renowned for its programs in neurosciences, cardiovascular services and cancer care, Huntington Hospital is an active teaching hospital with Graduate Medical Education programs in internal medicine and general surgery. In 2011, the hospital was granted Magnet status and named a Best Hospital (regional) by U.S. News and World Report in ten specialties. Huntington Hospital has a regional neonatal intensive care unit, treating babies with the highest acuity. For nearly 120 years, Huntington Hospital has been committed to serving its community with excellence, compassion and respect. Consistent with its mission, the hospital provides millions of dollars in charity care and benefits for vulnerable populations, and towards health research, education and training and support programs that may otherwise be absent from the community. These programs include geriatric psychiatric services, children’s asthma management and diabetes workshops in English and Spanish.