Wellmark Inks ACO Deal With Mercy Medical Center, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

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Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Iowa has formed an accountable care organization with Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Iowa City-based University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

As part of the collaborative ACO agreement, Wellmark will financially reward providers for meeting unspecified quality and cost goals. Providers will not earn the incentive if quality declines or costs increase, according to the news release.

"Expanding our team approach through this ACO partnership, Mercy, UI Health Care and Wellmark will improve patient care and reduce healthcare costs by providing access to a broader, more comprehensive range of healthcare services, resulting in collaborative and coordinated care," Timothy Charles, president and CEO of MercyCare Service Corporation and Mercy Medical Center-Cedar Rapids, said in the release.

"This new relationship also offers us the opportunity to demonstrate innovation and creativity in changing the 'value proposition' for healthcare and having a major impact on population health and well-being," Jean Robillard, MD, vice president for medical affairs for UI Health Care added in the release.

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