Group Health Cooperative has launched a joint healthcare brand, CareUnity, with a non-profit provider in Washington.
The co-op, which provides health coverage to more than 601,000 residents of Washington state and North Idaho, has created the joint identity with Providence Health Care – the Eastern Washington region of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit Catholic health care ministry that works for the needs of the communities it serves.
Both organisations first came together when they formed a jointly owned accountable care organisation in 2012. CareUnity aims to work with health carriers and self-funded employers to understand their needs and design custom-made care options, taking into account access and cost.
Elaine Couture, chief executive of Providence Health Care and chair of the CareUnity board of directors, explained what they hoped to achieve. “We believe the name CareUnity truly represents the commitment of our two organisations to provide care in a more collaborative way. To offer a better patient experience and make care more affordable, we must change the way providers communicate, coordinate, share financial risk and empower patients. CareUnity focuses on adhering to established, evidence-based guidelines and finding care pathways and processes that are proven to provide the best health outcomes for patients.”
CareUnity is offering a wide range of services, from health education and prevention, physician visits, hospitalisation, rehabilitation therapy and home health services to end of life care. It currently coordinates care for over 50,000 patients in Spokane from providers with Providence Medical Group, Group Health Physicians and Columbia Medical Associates.
Kelly Stanford, vice president of Eastern and Central Washington for Group Health Cooperative and president of CareUnity said they aimed to find local solutions for the problems facing the country’s health system by adopting a patient-centred approach.
“By drawing on the strengths and capabilities of both organisations and through new models of payment to providers, CareUnity is achieving three goals – enhanced patient health, an improved patient care experience, and more affordable care,” she said.