St. Vincent Health part of consortium of 30-plus Indiana hospitals

September 1, 2013

New organization to focus on improving quality, lowering costs


St. Vincent Health of Indianapolis has partnered with two health care providers to create a consortium of hospitals that are working together to improve care quality while lowering health care delivery costs. Thirty of the partners' central Indiana hospitals make up the organization called the Accountable Care Consortium.

The three nonprofit partners will focus on improving care quality, lowering the cost of health care delivery, standardizing care protocols, sharing clinical information, replicating one another's best practices and better integrating the work of their clinical facilities, according to Vincent Caponi, former chief executive of St. Vincent Health and market leader for Indiana and Wisconsin for St. Vincent's parent company, Ascension Health. As of July 1, Caponi is senior vice president for Ascension and executive chair of the board of St. Vincent Health.

In addition to St. Vincent Health, the joint venture partners include Community Health Network and six hospitals within the Suburban Health Organization. Each partner is making an initial $1 million investment into the Accountable Care Consortium. The three are not merging assets. The new organization has a six-member board — each partner has two seats on the board. Dr. Richard Fogel, who heads St. Vincent's physician group, holds one of St. Vincent's seats; and Caponi, the other.

The consortium's president, named as the consortium formally launched in February, is Elizabeth Simpkin, who formerly headed a consulting practice, Valence Health of Chicago.

Caponi said the consortium is not currently seeking accountable care organization status from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services because he said the partners believe there currently is too much uncertainty associated with that program. But the consortium's work could set the groundwork for seeking status with the federal program in the future, he said. He noted that the consortium is focusing its attention on its own insured employees and then will look at applying what is learned to other groups. Caponi explained that the consortium is taking a population health management approach to this pool of people, assuming more risk for their health outcomes.

Caponi said clinical committees headed by physician leaders now are meeting to identify quality metrics so they can measure the results of efforts to improve care protocols.


Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3477.

Copyright © 2013 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States

For reprint permission, contact Betty Crosby or call (314) 253-3490.