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Press Release

Media Contact: Peggy Hinz
(805) 557-6791,

Monarch Healthcare, Healthcare Partners, and Anthem Blue Cross Chosen for Innovative National Healthcare Program

Accountable Care Organization Pilot Will Help Improve Quality and Lower Costs

Irvine, Calif., May 25, 2010 -- Two of Southern California’s leading physician-governed medical groups, along with Anthem Blue Cross, have been selected for participation in a new and innovative, nationally-recognized healthcare model that rewards providers for improving patient outcomes, while slowing cost growth.  Monarch HealthCare, an Irvine, California-based Medical Group and Independent Physician Association (IPA), and HealthCare Partners, a Torrance, California-based Medical Group and IPA, will collaborate with Anthem Blue Cross in an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) pilot project led by the Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.  The selection of the two California organizations furthers the nationwide demonstration project already underway in three other communities.  The demonstration project expects to produce a successful model that will be replicable throughout the country. 

Elliott Fisher, M.D., M.P.H., who along with Mark McClellan, M.D., PhD., is leading the Brookings-Dartmouth project, describes the ACO as “a provider-led organization willing to be accountable for the full continuum of care for its patients.”  The model encourages physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies to work together to coordinate care, improve quality, and reduce costs.  

Anthem Blue Cross expects that its PPO members in Los Angeles and Orange Counties whose physicians participate in the HealthCare Partners and Monarch ACOs will benefit from the care coordination, chronic disease management, increased provider accountability, and improved information for patient decision-making that are hallmarks of the new model.  Because the ACO model introduces appropriate incentives for physicians to collaborate, be thoughtful in the provision of care, and meet or exceed quality benchmarks, it holds great promise for enhancing patient outcomes and increasing efficiency. Mike Ramseier, vice president, provider engagement and contracting with Anthem Blue Cross states, “Anthem Blue Cross is excited to be leading the way in California and nationally to transform the current delivery model by collaborating with employers, members, hospitals and physicians to provide our members with the right care, at the right time, and at the right cost.

President of Anthem Blue Cross Leslie A. Margolin added, “This program, along with our patient safety initiative Patient Safety First… a California Partnership for Health, where we have teamed up with the state’s three hospital associations, and the National Health Foundation, are examples of our commitment to work together along with hospitals and medical groups to drive quality, cost and safety improvements across the state’s system of care,” said Margolin.

Jay Cohen, M.D., president and chairman of the board at Monarch, believes “this is a very exciting development for anyone who supports innovative ideas designed to improve healthcare delivery in the communities we serve.   Monarch has always been a leader in this regard and is delighted to have been selected as a pilot site for this project”.

He is joined in that anticipation by Robert J. Margolis, M.D., HealthCare Partners chairman and chief executive officer, who stated, “The ACO pilot is a win for everyone—physicians providing superior clinical care for their patients, for patients receiving that care, and for all of us who want to wring unnecessary costs out of the healthcare system.”

The Engelberg Center for Health Care Reform at Brookings is committed to producing innovative solutions that will drive reform of our nation’s health care system.  The Center’s mission is to develop data-driven, practical policy solutions that promote broad access to high-quality, affordable, and innovative care in the Unites States.  The Center conducts research, makes policy recommendations, and facilitates the development of new consensus around key issues and provides technical support to implement and evaluate new solutions in collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.

The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice is a dynamic force within Dartmouth College, dedicated to improving health care through education, research, policy reform, leadership improvement and communication with patients and the public.

Monarch HealthCare is an Independent Practice Association (“IPA”) and is the largest physician organization in Orange County.   Formed in 1994, Monarch HealthCare is contracted with more than 2,500 independent, private-practice physicians who provide health care for approximately 170,000 Orange County residents.  Recognized by health plans and business groups for providing high quality care and excellent service, Monarch HealthCare is owned and operated by physicians who have demonstrated their commitment to advancing medical excellence and exemplifying the “patient-first” philosophy of healthcare in their communities. For more information, please visit

HealthCare Partners Affiliates Medical Group (HCPAMG) has been named a top-performer six years in a row by the Integrated Healthcare Association (IHA) for clinical excellence, patient satisfaction, and use of information technology in support of patient care.  With more than 1,200 employed and affiliated primary care physicians and more than 3,000 employed and contracted specialists, HealthCare Partners cares for patients in Los Angeles, Long Beach, South Bay, Pasadena/San Gabriel Valley area, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys, and Orange County.  Nationally, HealthCare Partners operates HCPAMG (California), JSA Healthcare Corporation (Florida), HealthCare Partners of Nevada, The Camden Group (national consulting firm), and the HealthCare Partners Institute. For more information, please visit
Anthem Blue Cross is the trade name of Blue Cross of California. Anthem Blue Cross and Anthem Blue Cross Life and Health Insurance Company are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Association.


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