In addition to providing healthcare access to most of Wisconsin, the six partners serve people in Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Minnesota. Each partner system uses the same electronic medical records system, making it easier for patients to access their records and share with doctors in the network.
Thompson spoke with HealthLeaders Media about the partnership soon after the announcement. The following is an edited transcript.
HealthLeaders: Why did Gundersen join this partnership?
Thompson: When we first started, the talk was about putting together an insurance network. We felt like if it was going to be an insurance network we weren't interested. We were already in a variety of networks.
But if you are interested in developing a group of organizations that do not want to spend all of their time with the merger, governance, and asset allocation and all that kind of thing, but want to spend their time improving care and lowering costs, then there are some real possibilities.
We talked around that for a while and felt that being an organization that could have an insurance product and eventually take risk across a broader population had some real advantages.