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SCL Health System and Univita Establish Joint Venture to Ensure Patient-Centered Care from Hospital to Home

March 28, 2013

Integrated care delivery model designed to reduce length of hospitalization, decrease readmissions and improve patient experience while reducing cost

Media Contacts:

For SCL Health System:
Cheston Turbyfill, Director, Public Affairs
303-813-5061 or 312-952-0837

For Univita Health:
Sarah McLeod

DENVER – March 28, 2013 – SCL Health System (SCLHS), a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization, and Univita Health, an innovator in extending the reach of care management into the home, announced today the formation of a joint venture. This partnership will align SCLHS’ acute care programs with Univita’s home-based care management to deliver a high-value continuum of care from hospital to home. SCLHS and Univita are introducing the new integrated acute and post-acute care delivery model at three SCLHS hospitals in the Denver area – Exempla Lutheran Medical Center, Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital and Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center.

The collaboration between SCLHS and Univita ensures that acute care patients admitted to a SCLHS hospital receive optimal, accountable care from the time of admission through hospitalization and discharge and during the entire home-recovery process. The depth and breadth of the program is aimed at reducing the length of hospitalizations, decreasing unnecessary hospital readmissions and improving the overall patient experience.

“Our mission at SCLHS is focused on providing the best possible care to improve the health of the people and communities we serve,” said Dr. Rick Lopes, senior vice president of health networks at SCLHS. “In order to provide true value in today’s rapidly evolving health care environment, hospitals need to ensure that patients continue on a trajectory of healing well after they leave our facilities. Our joint venture with Univita now allows us to offer the same high-quality, compassionate care to our patients as they recover at home, effectively extending our healing reach beyond our hospital doors.”

The SCLHS-Univita integrated care delivery program is designed to be truly seamless. For example, under the new joint venture, upon admission to the hospital for a heart failure, SCLHS clinicians will work alongside Univita’s specially trained nurses to manage care and consult with the patient and his or her family. When the patient is discharged and at home, a Univita specialist will visit, perform a comprehensive assessment and oversee all components of care, such as medication compliance, diet, physical therapy and emotional well-being. This extension of care following initial hospital stays has been proven to reduce the amount of readmissions attributed to complications and remove excess costs.

“Medical literature and our own empirical data have demonstrated that for health care to achieve optimal success, all parties responsible for the patient must be engaged and accountable for the individual’s treatment and recovery,” said Hugh Lytle, vice chairman and co-founder of Univita. “With this joint venture, SCLHS and Univita will not only provide optimal patient outcomes, but also alleviate potential economic concerns associated with elongated hospitalizations and unnecessary readmissions.”

This new joint venture will enable even more collaboration between SCLHS hospitals, health plans and other provider organizations within the Denver metropolitan area.

“At SCLHS, we recognize that in order to provide the best possible care for our patients, we need to work hand in hand with other participants in the health care ecosystem – including patients’ families,” said Chris Lee, general manager of the joint venture and senior director at SCLHS. “We are offering a new care model that shares people, processes and information whether in the hospital or at home.”

As accountability for the costs and outcomes of patient care is increasingly shifted from health care payers to providers, hospital systems and physicians are looking for solutions that will enable them to succeed in this new environment.

“Univita’s experience with care management, integrated care delivery and patient and family engagement tools makes us an ideal partner for health systems or hospitals taking risk for patient populations,” said Robert Harmon, vice president, health systems at Univita. “Our relationship with SCLHS builds on a successful track record of leveraging unique processes and expertise from different industry segments to create enhanced models of care focused on population health and patient independence.”

The programs and resources being made available through the joint venture have been refined through years of experience with managed care organizations and risk-bearing physician groups. More recently, the core elements of these programs have demonstrated value in Univita’s relationship with the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic.

About SCL Health System
SCL Health System (SCLHS), based in Denver, is a faith-based, nonprofit health care organization operating 11 hospitals, four safety net clinics, one children’s mental health treatment center and more than 100 ambulatory service centers in four states – California, Colorado, Kansas and Montana. Our $2.7 billion health network is dedicated to improving the health of the communities and individuals we serve, especially those who are poor and vulnerable. On an annual basis, SCLHS provides more than $220 million in community benefit, including services for the poor, health screenings, educational programs, community donations and research. SCLHS was founded by the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth, who opened their first hospital in 1864. To learn more, visit www.sclhealthsystem.org.

About Univita Health
Univita is an innovator in providing home-based care management, extending the reach of care management into the home. Our comprehensive approach addresses and manages the complete array of a patient’s care needs, encompassing both clinical and non-clinical drivers of health outcomes. Univita supports the care management efforts of health plans, insurers, health systems and physicians with a focus on the highest risk, most complex populations. To learn more, visit www.univitahealth.com.