Providence, Swedish Launch New Accountable Care Organization

Featured: Providence-Swedish Health Alliance
SEATTLE, June 13, 2014 — Providence Health & Services and Swedish Health Services today announced the launch of the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance, one of the first accountable care organizations (ACO) in the country to work directly with employers on high quality, affordable health care benefits for employees. Boeing is the first employer to sign with the new ACO.

Providence-Swedish Health Alliance Participants

Providence-Swedish Health Alliance Participants

Providence-Swedish Health Alliance
The launch of an employer-driven ACO marks a significant shift in how health care will be delivered to employees and has national implications for the future of health care. For the first time, providers are able to work directly with employers to understand their needs and develop a product that caters to their employees.

Providence and Swedish affiliated in 2012 to create healthier communities across Western Washington. Since that time, the two organizations have worked quickly to build an ACO to better serve a variety of populations. ACOs work by incentivizing doctors, hospitals and other health care partners to closely coordinate care for patients, resulting in improved outcomes and lower costs.

Boeing Preferred Partnership
Boeing has selected the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance for its new Preferred Partnership option, which is available in the Puget Sound area for nonunion employees as well as some union-represented employees and retirees. Eligible employees can stay in their current plan or they can select the new option, which allows them to choose one of two networks for their care: either the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance or the UW Medicine Accountable Care Network. Employees will make the selection during annual enrollment for benefits this November for coverage starting Jan. 1, 2015.

This new service delivery option is designed to improve quality, provide a better experience for Boeing employees and their families, and be more affordable.

“The Puget Sound region has the advantage of having some of the best, most progressive providers and medical centers in the country,” said Alan May, vice president of Human Resources for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “For this initiative, we chose Providence-Swedish and UW Medicine for several key reasons – they are well respected, have a broad geographic reach, provide the full continuum of care and have demonstrated a commitment to transform how health care is delivered. Boeing will continue to engage with other providers in the community in an effort to transform the delivery system with a goal of providing access to high quality care.”

The Providence-Swedish Health Alliance will offer Boeing employees a number of benefits, including:

  • Same-day or next-day appointments for urgent primary care visits and acute care.
  • A concierge service that patients can reach by phone, email or Web.
  • Online and mobile access for scheduling primary care appointments, reviewing test results and emailing the care team.
  • Proactive support for preventive care and chronic disease management.
  • Shared decision-making tools to help patients choose the right treatment options for their lifestyle goals.

Collaborating with the area’s most respected physician groups
The Providence-Swedish Health Alliance offers Boeing employees access to a broad, comprehensive network of providers, including many of the area’s most well-respected names in health care including:

  • Swedish Medical Centers (All locations across the Puget Sound region: First Hill, Cherry Hill, Ballard, Edmonds, Issaquah, Mill Creek, Redmond)
  • Providence Regional Medical Center Everett
  • Swedish Medical Group clinics
  • Providence Medical Group clinics
  • The Everett Clinic
  • Group Health Medical Center Puyallup
  • Group Health Medical Center Renton
  • Minor & James Medical clinics
  • Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) clinics
  • Proliance Surgeons
  • Puget Sound Family Physicians
  • The Polyclinic

“Together, we will provide Boeing employees with access to the full gamut of physician expertise – from primary care physicians to specialists and subspecialists. They’ll also have access to the latest treatment options,” said Joe Gifford, M.D., chief executive of the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance.

Approved as a Medicare ACO
In addition to working directly with employers, the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance also partners with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Approved as a Medicare ACO in December 2013, Providence and Swedish offer high quality coordinated care to more than 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries across Western Washington. The Providence-Swedish Health Alliance is one of only three Medicare ACOs in Washington.

Demonstrating the value of health system affiliations
Improving the health of the population through an ACO model is the primary reason Providence and Swedish affiliated two years ago. “We came together with a vision to transform the way health care is delivered and paid for, and we are seeing that vision come to fruition with key milestones, such as the Boeing contract,” said Rod Hochman, M.D., president and CEO of Providence Health & Services, a not-for-profit health system that serves communities across the Western United States and is based in the Seattle, Wash. area.

“We look forward to making this new approach available to other employers and commercial insurers. We also see this as a model for caring for Medicaid patients and the uninsured to ensure we are providing access and enhanced service to all in need regardless of ability to pay,” said Dr. Hochman.

More information about the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance can be found at

About the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance
The Providence-Swedish Health Alliance is an accountable care organization (ACO) offering a transformative approach to health care and benefits. By bringing physicians, hospitals and other partners together to more closely coordinate care for patients, the ACO focuses on delivering the highest quality care to patients at a lower cost. The Providence-Swedish Health Alliance includes the comprehensive resources of Providence Health & Services, Swedish Health Services, Minor & James Medical and Pacific Medical Centers. The health alliance also partners with other physician groups to meet the unique needs of employers and payers. For instance, The Everett Clinic, The Polyclinic, Proliance Surgeons and Puget Sound Family Physicians are participating with the Providence-Swedish Health Alliance to serve Boeing employees. The Providence-Swedish Health Alliance was approved as a Medicare ACO in December 2013 and serves more than 25,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Western Washington.