December 19, 2017

Around the nation: Highmark Health, Penn State Health plan partnership

Daily Briefing

    Highmark Health and Penn State Health earlier this month agreed to enter a strategic partnership that will invest more than $1 billion in the development of a community-based health network, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Pennsylvania, Florida, and West Virginia.

    • Alabama: Huntsville Hospital earlier this month successfully delivered its first set of sextuplets (and the first to be born in the state since 2011)—a feat the medical team chalks up to running through the birth plan drill 12 times before delivery, Kelly Vaughen writes for WHNT News 19. According to hospital staff, the delivery of Courtney and Eric Waldrop's six infants involved an interdisciplinary team of about 40 people, including a color-coded team for each infant and security personnel for crowd control. All six infants—three boys and three girls—are doing well, but they will remain in the NICU for several weeks before heading home, according to hospital (Vaughen, WHNT News 19, 12/14).

    • Florida: Students at the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine earlier this month honored Hannah Culler—an 18-year-old who suffers from Mast Cell Activation Syndrome, an immune disorder with no known cure—after the Make-A-Wish Foundation arranged for her to visit the campus. Culler, who wants to become a pediatric emergency physician, had asked to spend one day as a medical student at UCF. The students and Deborah German, dean of the medical school, arranged for Culler to receive a coat as part of an honorary White Coat Ceremony (Miller, Sacramento Bee, 12/15). 

    • Pennsylvania: Highmark Health and Penn State Health on Dec. 15 agreed to form a strategic partnership to improve care access, quality, and affordability for area residents by investing more than $1 billion in a new, community-based care network, among other initiatives. Under the agreement, Highmark will become a minority member of Penn State Health, acquiring three seats on Penn State Health's 15-member board of directors. The agreement allows both organizations to maintain their existing health insurance agreements with other care providers, and Highmark's insurance arm will be allowed to continue making agreements with other health systems, Alyssa Rege writes for Becker's Hospital Review (Rege, Becker's Hospital Review, 12/18).

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    The field guide to hospital partnership and affiliation models

    Behind the flurry of M&A in recent years, a deeper trend of hospital integration is underway: the emergence of alternative partnerships that secure many of the same benefits of M&A without the financial and legal commitment: Clinical affiliation, regional collaborative, accountable care organization, and clinically integrated network.

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