DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Iowa Health System (IHS) has finalized an agreement with Meridian Health Plan (Meridian) that will enable Medicaid beneficiaries who are Meridian plan members to obtain healthcare services from IHS hospitals and physicians across the State starting on Sept. 1.
IHS is the nation's 15th largest nonprofit health system. It includes a large network of hospitals, physicians, home health care agencies and other healthcare services completing approximately 3.1 million patient visits per year. Meridian Health Plan is a physician-owned and physician-managed health plan, and was approved by the State of Iowa to provide Medicaid health services to beneficiaries through a contract with the Iowa Department of Human Services in 2012.
Together, IHS and Meridian intend to provide Medicaid beneficiaries in Iowa a more coordinated, seamless healthcare experience.
Over multiple years in other states where Meridian operates, the company has significantly improved health outcomes through high quality care. Meridian has developed expertise in providing coordinated, patient-centered care to the Medicaid population.
"We have been serving Iowans since March," said Dr. Andrea "Andy" McGuire, President/COO, and leader of Meridian's Iowa affiliate, which is based in Des Moines. "This agreement with Iowa Health System provides streamlined access to one out of every three patients in the state. Meridian members will benefit from the care coordination services that our entities will be able to offer by working together."
Teaming up to serve the Medicaid population is the first step in what the entities hope will be a continuing partnership to offer higher quality, better coordinated care to Medicaid patients. Soon, the companies hope to be able to approach the State of Iowa with the offer to negotiate alternative payment arrangements for Medicaid patients similar to the new types of population management payment arrangements established by IHS with the federal government for Medicare patients and Wellmark for certain commercial clients.
Bill Leaver, president and CEO of Iowa Health System said, "This partnership allows us to ally the expertise of Meridian in managing the Medicaid population together with our expertise in delivering high quality health care services. The result will be that our Medicaid patients will have better patient experiences and better health outcomes. Ultimately, these are the types of partnerships that will reduce the overall cost of healthcare for the State of Iowa."
About Iowa Health System:
Iowa Health System is one of the nation's most integrated health systems. Through relationships with 27 hospitals in metropolitan and rural communities and more than 200 physician clinics, IHS provides care throughout Iowa and Illinois.
IHS entities employ more than 24,000 employees, working toward innovative advancements to deliver the Best Outcome for Every Patient Every Time. Each year, through more than 3.1 million patient visits, IHS hospitals and clinics provide a full range of care to patients and families. With annual revenues of $2.8 billion, IHS is the nation's 15th largest nonprofit health system and the fifth largest nondenominational health system in America. IHS provides community benefit programs and services to improve the health of people in its communities.
About Meridian Health Plan:
Meridian Health Plan is a new Medicaid managed care option in the State of Iowa, dedicated to continuously improving quality of care in a low resource environment.
Meridian Health Plan is a physician-owned, physician-operated health plan with extensive Medicaid experience in its subsidiary operations in Michigan, Illinois and Iowa and will begin serving New Hampshire's Medicaid population in 2013. Meridian's affiliates include Medicaid and Medicare health plans and MeridianRx, a Pharmacy Benefit Management company. Currently Meridian Health Plan serves over 300,000 Medicaid members.
SOURCE Meridian Health Plan