Online Staff Report
SwedishAmerican Health System has announced the planned acquisition of Rockford-based Physicians Care Network Inc. (PCN), an independent physician association (IPA) that includes 550 independent and hospital-based physicians and health care providers. The acquisition, which is subject to certain terms and conditions, is expected to be completed in January 2014.
IPAs are groups of physicians who incorporate for the purpose of contracting with insurance companies. A physician-owned organization, PCN is administered by the Rockford-based contract management firm, Sage Technologies Co., which provides business process services to health care clients throughout the Midwest.
“By acquiring PCN, we will be very well positioned to negotiate and enter into Accountable Care Organization (ACO) agreements,” said SwedishAmerican Health System Chief Operating Officer Richard P. Walsh. “This helps to assure that both SwedishAmerican and the physicians and other providers participating in the PCN provider panel will have a vehicle to enter into new arrangements that arise under health care reform.”
One immediate benefit of the acquisition is the assurance that local participation in BlueCross BlueShield’s HMO Illinois product (one of the largest HMO networks in the state) will continue in 2014. Additionally, by formalizing their relationship, SwedishAmerican and PCN will have the structure needed for Health Insurance Exchange (HIE) participation.
“BlueCross plans to offer an HMO-like product as an option under the HIE,” Walsh said. “BlueCross believes, and we agree, that the current SAHS/PCN arrangement would be an ideal vehicle for doing so in the Rockford market.”
SwedishAmerican is not acquiring any health care providers or physician practices as part of the PCN acquisition, and patient access to health care providers will not be affected. Information sessions with representatives of SwedishAmerican and Sage Technologies are being scheduled with local health care providers.
Posted Oct. 9, 2013