7 health systems join to form interstate alliance

September 23, 2013

Three of the largest health systems in New Jersey and four in Pennsylvania, totaling 25 hospitals, have formed an interstate consortium to work on quality, population health management, best practices, and medical research, according to a press statement from one of the health systems.

Three of the largest health systems in New Jersey and four in Pennsylvania, totaling 25 hospitals, have formed an interstate consortium to work on quality, population health management, best practices, and medical research, according to a press statement from one of the health systems.

AllSpire Health Partners include hospitals that have been ranked by U.S. News and World Report within the top 10 in their states and more than 20 specialties considered to be the top 50 throughout the country.

New Jersey systems include Atlantic Health System, Hackensack University Health Network, and Meridian Health. In Pennsylvania, the systems are Lancaster General Health, Lehigh Valley Health Network, Reading Health System, and WellSpan Health.

Together, the systems cover more than 6 million people and produce $10.5 billion in revenue, making AllSpire the largest healthcare consortium in the country.

AllSpire plans to “address economies of scale, share best practices to improve health outcomes, and identify opportunities in the new era of healthcare delivery,” the press statement noted.

“I am looking forward to collaborating with my colleagues and their respective organizations on developing innovative models of care to improve everything for our patients and communities,” said John K. Lloyd, FACHE, president and CEO of Meridian Health.

This alliance follows a national trend of consolidation, according to Joel Cantor, director of the Center for State Health Policy, as reported by NJBIZ.COM. This trend is “driven in part by provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are intended to improve care coordination and outcomes in patients,” Cantor told NJBIZ.COM.

“[However,] hospital consolidation brings risks for health care consumers,” said Cantor. “Larger hospital systems can wield greater negotiating leverage over reimbursement rates with healthcare insurers, ultimately driving up prices and costs. While it does not appear from their public announcement that AllSpire has either the goal or corporate form needed to enter into price negotiations with payers, moving in that direction could happen in the future.”