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HBCBS, JFK Medical Center form collaborative ACO

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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Edison-based JFK Medical Center announced Monday the launch of a collaborative Accountable Care Organization aimed at improving medical care for over 5,000 Horizon BCBSNJ members.

Horizon will make care coordination payments to the JFK-affiliated physician practices to cover the cost of improved monitoring and coordination of population health. If certain clinical, patient satisfaction and cost goals are met, the practices will have the opportunity to share in the financial savings with Horizon.

This is the latest in a series of innovative medical care delivery programs that Horizon has launched through the state, which now cover about 500,000 of Horizon's 3.7 million members.

For the JFK ACO, more than 140 doctors practicing at approximately 50 practice locations in Central Jersey are participating, and the ACO is set to begin on April 1.

"This collaborative agreement with JFK is another important step in transforming the health care system in New Jersey with an eye toward delivering better patient care while containing costs," said Jim Albano, vice president of Network Management and Horizon Healthcare Innovations at Horizon.

"Our physician-led board of directors chose Horizon because it was evident they excelled in the qualities needed for the ACO to be truly successful," said William F. Oser, vice president, medical affairs and director of ACOs at JFK.

ACOs are centered on primary care. Participating physician groups strive to create a healthier patient population through a coordinated approach to care among providers within the ACO. The ACOs are designed to achieve measured patient quality outcomes and decrease unnecessary and duplicate medical tests and treatments.

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Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald

Beth Fitzgerald reports on health care, small business and higher education. She joined NJBIZ in 2008 after a 34-year career at the Star-Ledger and has been reporting on business in New Jersey since 1978. Her email is beth@njbiz.com and she is @bethfitzgerald8 on Twitter.

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