Rush Health has expanded its network with the addition of Riverside Medical Center, which joined Rush Health at the beginning of September. Rush Health is a clinically integrated network of hospitals, physicians and other clinicians. Riverside Medical Center is a 325-bed hospital based in Kankakee that employs approximately 57 doctors and 35 non-physician clinicians, who also have joined Rush Health.
“Rush Health has been around for a long time and has expertise in supporting a large, multi-specialty physician network with a focus on high quality. Our arrangement with Rush Health fits Riverside’s model of being independent and will enable us to continue to serve our community,” says Bill Douglas, senior vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer of Riverside Healthcare, the parent corporation of Riverside Medical Center.
“It’s great for Riverside, and I think it would be advantageous for other independently minded hospitals that are looking for the partnerships that are going to be needed to provide health care in the future,” Douglas adds.
Rush Health negotiates contracts with health insurers and employers and works to enhance the quality of care its members provide through various initiatives, including a health information exchange that Rush Health launched this month. The exchange integrates the different electronic medical record systems used by network members, enabling better and more efficient coordination of patient care.
“Being able to demonstrate clinical excellence and better outcomes is now a key piece of contract negotiations,” observes Brent Estes, president and CEO of Rush Health. “Our experience with pay-for-performance arrangements and our investments in the health information exchange and other quality initiatives will demonstrate further that using a physician or hospital associated with Rush Health is different and better than using other health care providers.”
Douglas says that the investments Rush Health has made in technology, including the strength of the health information exchange, is among the reasons Riverside chose Rush Health. “We believe Rush Health is a high quality network that will continue to grow, and the technology it provides will help Rush Health members to raise the bar on quality even higher,” he says.
The Rush Health network also includes Rush University Medical Center, Rush Oak Park Hospital and Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora. With the addition of Riverside Medical Center and its physicians, Rush Health now includes more than 1,000 physicians and 250 non-physician clinicians in its network.
In the first 10 months of 2014, Rush Health added 161 providers, including new doctors who have joined Rush due to growth and the addition of Riverside HealthCare. “A larger network makes us more attractive to insurance companies and other payers, because we can provide better geographic coverage for their consumers,” Estes says.
Rush Health currently is in discussions with many independent practice physicians affiliated with Riverside about joining the network, and other independent providers in the Chicago area as well. “Growth will continue to be a priority for us,” Estes says.