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Capital BlueCross, PinnacleHealth collaborate to improve health care quality and patient satisfaction

More than 25,000 area patients to benefit

HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 13, 2012) -- Capital BlueCross and PinnacleHealth System today announced the formation of an innovative alliance designed to enhance care coordination, improve patient satisfaction and reduce health care expenses. This collaboration, known as an Accountable Care Arrangement (ACA), is one of the first of its kind between an integrated health care system and health insurer in Pennsylvania.

Watch the news release video (courtesy of PinnacleHealth)

Through this ACA model, Capital BlueCross works in conjunction with PinnacleHealth physicians to drive improvements in the health care delivery system. Capital BlueCross will provide dedicated nursing resources, access to technology and critical analytics to PinnacleHealth’s physicians. This will enable PinnacleHealth providers to deliver true patient-centered, integrated and holistic care. The two organizations will use population-based clinical data to deliver highly-personalized medical care, resulting in increased doctor-patient face time, improved patient health and higher levels of patient satisfaction.

“Capital BlueCross has a rich, 75-year history as a local, community-based health plan that offers a national platform with innovative solutions to our customers. Our primary goals of increasing quality, improving satisfaction and ultimately reducing the overall cost of care for the health care consumer fuel the innovation necessary for real change,” said Gary D. St. Hilaire, Capital BlueCross President. “We are excited to work with PinnacleHealth. The system shares our vision, is passionate about excellence in patient care, and has a strong history of delivering that excellence to the consumers of central Pennsylvania.”

”By increasing coordination, this new collaboration can help reduce unnecessary medical care and improve health outcomes, leading to a decrease in utilization of acute care services,” said Michael A. Young, president and CEO of PinnacleHealth System. “The ACA model uses seamless communication among PinnacleHealth providers via Electronic Medical Record (EMR) and Health Information Exchange (HIE), solidifying a team-based health care delivery model focused on prevention and strong chronic disease management.”

By working together, this new arrangement between Capital BlueCross and PinnacleHealth will reduce redundancies and provide a more integrated approach to the delivery of medical services to more than 25,000 patients, designed to increase levels of customer satisfaction and reduce expenses. It follows as a natural extension of another ground-breaking partnership that the two organizations embarked on in 2010 when they successfully implemented one of the region’s first Patient-Centered Medical Home pilots.

Following its initial pilot with PinnacleHealth, Capital BlueCross launched two ACAs in 2011 with Physicians Alliance Ltd. of Lancaster and Heritage Medical Group. Subsequent to their affiliation with Heritage Medical Group, PinnacleHealth committed to retaining and enhancing the innovation of that initial ACA with Capital BlueCross through its strong clinical programs and medical capabilities, such as a successful Health Information Exchange. Based on this prior experience with the Heritage ACA, patient engagement has already significantly increased to upwards of 75 percent.

About Capital BlueCross

Capital BlueCross is the leading health insurer in its region, providing health insurance coverage to residents in central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Capital BlueCross is committed to making health insurance simple for its customers and members through all the stages of life by offering nationally acclaimed customer service and a full range of innovative benefit programs for groups and individuals at competitive prices.

By establishing a culture of caring, Capital BlueCross constantly strives to do more in order to deliver more for the men, women and children who depend on the company for their health insurance needs. Capital BlueCross has been providing medical value to the people and communities of central Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley for more nearly 75 years and employs about 2,000 people in the region. Headquartered in Harrisburg, Pa., Capital BlueCross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About PinnacleHealth System

PinnacleHealth is a pioneer not-for-profit health care system dedicated to providing and improving the health and quality of life for the people of central Pennsylvania since 1873. A proven leader in medical innovation, PinnacleHealth offers a wide range of services from primary care to the most complex surgeries and Magnet recognition for nursing excellence.

The health care network includes four campuses (Community, Cumberland, Harrisburg and Polyclinic) and medical services, including family practice, imaging, outpatient surgery and oncology, at multiple locations throughout the region. For a complete list of services, visit our website at