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ValueHealth LLC and University Hospitals Health System (UH) based in Cleveland have announced a joint venture that will create a high-value network of state-of-the-art ambulatory surgical centers.

The network will expand UH’s geographic footprint in Northern Ohio for surgical care, focusing initially on orthopedic surgery and targeting hip and knee replacement. These facilities will be multi-specialty and may include clinical services such as otolaryngology, pain management, urology, general surgery and cardiac care. Additionally, the new entity formed by the joint venture will explore opportunities to leverage existing UH facilities to accelerate speed to market in creating the centers, which will augment UH’s continuity of care in communities that currently have limited surgical services.

The partnership taps into ValueHealth’s expertise and reputation for developing demand matching surgical networks including its nationally recognized brand for hyper-specialty joint and spine surgery centers, Muve Health. Complementing its operational expertise, ValueHealth has developed a digital surgical technology platform that helps manage risk-sharing and bundled payment programs. With surgical spend a top cost driver for many payors and self-funded employers, these hyper-specialty centers of excellence can enhance the quality of care provided while reducing costs associated with the traditional fee-for-service model.

“We are pleased to join with UH in expanding value-based care options for the Northeast Ohio community,” said John Palumbo, executive chairman of ValueHealth. “UH is well known for providing the highest quality, advanced care while continuously innovating care models for the benefit of patients and payors. Joining UH’s unequaled standards with more than two decades of ValueHealth’s pioneering spirit in the ambulatory care space will significantly move the needle in UH’s value-based care transformation journey.”

With this partnership, UH joins more than 30 health systems currently integrated into ValueHealth’s payor-led, tech-enabled, data-driven digital surgical network. ValueHealth’s proprietary technology includes patient management, payor bundles and warranty contracts, as well as its nationally recognized Ambulatory Centers of Excellence (ACE) program. ACE certification designates ambulatory surgical centers that not only exceed national accrediting standards, but meet ValueHealth’s stricter clinical, quality, and financial measures.

“Health care consumers are insisting on greater value and UH is committed to delivering,” explained Cliff A. Megerian, MD, FACS, president of University Hospitals. “UH has been on a journey over the past several years to reduce variation in care while enhancing the service experience, improving quality and reducing cost. We have demonstrated success with national bundled payment and travel surgery programs built around centers of excellence in areas such as joint replacement and bariatric surgery. Recently released results from 2019 showcase UH achieving the highest value performance in the state of Ohio with the lowest total annual cost of care for Medicare beneficiaries under an Accountable Care Organization. ValueHealth’s established relationships with employer consultants and national payors will augment UH’s ability to design win-win bundled payment contracts, bringing our world-renowned surgical expertise to more consumers in a value-focused model.”

“We’re thrilled UH shares our vision for value-based care,” said Don Bisbee, president of ValueHealth. “Industry estimates project that approximately 50 percent of joint replacement surgeries will be performed in highly specialized outpatient surgery centers by 2025. By working together, we’re equipping employers and insurance companies with ways to increase the availability of high-quality, cost-effective health care for their employees and member patients, providing predictable and affordable rates.”

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