Cook County Health weighs $70M contract to coordinate patient care



Excerpt

With an eye toward reducing medical costs, the Cook County Health and Hospitals System is proposing to spend up to $70 million with a new for-profit company to coordinate the treatment of about 80,000 Medicaid patients.

That company, Medical Home Network ACO, is a spinoff of a nonprofit created five years ago to use data analysis to help local hospitals and clinics offer better treatment to Medicaid patients who often received care from multiple providers. Cook County Health, Rush University Medical Center and Sinai Health System were among the hospitals that contributed their patient data to the nonprofit, Chicago-based Medical Home Network.

The new company will build on the nonprofit's data experience and pass some of the contract proceeds on to doctors to hire care coordinators. For example, hospitals and clinics that are part of the network receive near real-time alerts if their patients show up at the ER or are admitted to the hospital. A care coordinator would meet the patient in the emergency room and set up a follow-up appointment with a primary care doctor to make sure that patient isn't using the ER unnecessarily.

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