Southern California-based Heritage Provider Network is forming a joint venture with the nation's second-largest nonprofit hospital system to better coordinate patient care across much of the country.
The agreement announced Monday calls for Heritage and Trinity Health to build networks in different markets that focus on integrating the fragmented care many patients receive from multiple providers. Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed.
Heritage Provider Network, based in Marina del Rey, has been a leader in coordinating care across its physician groups, and those skills are prized as providers face pressure to move away from conventional fee-for-service medicine.
"This joint venture is taking some of the skills learned over many years (at Heritage) and deploying them in other markets," said Richard Gilfillan, chief executive of Trinity Health, which is based in Livonia, Mich.
"We believe in California, in particular, physician groups historically have integrated systems and seized that opportunity," Gilfillan said.
Richard Merkin, chief executive of Heritage, said too many health systems remain stuck in the status quo when it comes to delivering care. He welcomed Trinity's desire for change.
"We want to work with someone who sees the world not the way it was 20 years ago, but the way it is now," Merkin said. "Trinity is a system embracing innovation."
Increasingly, Medicare and private insurers want doctors and hospitals to collaborate more on keeping patients healthy and avoid costly complications and readmissions to the hospital.
Heritage, through various medical groups, helps care for more than 1 million people in California, Arizona and New York. It works with about 4,000 primary-care physicians and 33,000 specialists.
Trinity Health, one of the nation's largest Catholic health systems, runs 86 hospitals in 21 states as well as 128 facilities offering long-term care, assisting living and other services. It reported annual operating revenue of $13.6 billion for its fiscal year ended June 30.