MultiCare and Physicians of Southwest Washington (PSW), an Independent Physician Association headquartered in Olympia, have entered into a minority investment agreement to improve health care delivery and management in the Puget Sound region.
PSW had been seeking a partner to help grow its geographic footprint and strengthen financial sustainability, while preserving the independent physician practice care model.
“We chose to partner with MultiCare because our two organizations’ missions, visions and values are well aligned. We think it will be an excellent cultural fit,” said Melanie Matthews, CEO of PSW. “We believe strongly in keeping care local and supporting independent physician practices. As a regional health care leader, MultiCare shares that philosophy and commitment.”
PSW has experience in supporting independent physician practices with a range of services that help them take care of their patients including insurance claims processing, contracting and management services. They also support independent practices by helping to understand and coordinate care for individual patients to ensure they are getting the care they need.
“Joining forces with this well-respected, physician-led organization is the right work to do for patients and providers in our region,” said MultiCare President & CEO Bill Robertson. “PSW has deep expertise in managing care for patients and supporting independent physicians who are being reimbursed under new risk-based payment models. They are a pioneer and leader in their field and we’re looking forward to learning from them as we work more closely together.”
The partnership offers a path for regional provider groups to stay independent but have the support that comes from being connected to larger organizations, as the health care industry continues to embrace new risk-based payment models, and as both organizations continue to invest in the success of their Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs).
“We will learn from each other and accelerate our progress in managing Medicare and other patient populations under risk-based contracting,” Robertson said. “Our goal is to provide the best possible care for our patients, with a focus on preventive care and wellness.”
“Together, we will help patients stay healthy and out of the hospital,” said Matthews. “That helps keep health care costs down for everyone.”
Under the terms of the agreement, MultiCare will acquire a minority membership interest in PSW and have four seats on its nine-member board. The Boards of both organizations expect to sign an operating agreement in late March 2018. Operations and ownership of PSW’s 550-member independent physician network will not be affected by the agreement, and each practice will maintain its independence.
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 15,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Our comprehensive system of health includes numerous primary care, urgent care, specialty services and community outreach programs in both the Puget Sound and Inland Northwest regions, as well as MultiCare Connected Care, our Accountable Care Organization. Seven hospitals complete our organization: Allenmore Hospital, Auburn Medical Center, Deaconess Hospital, Good Samaritan Hospital, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital — the Puget Sound region’s only children’s hospital and state-designated Level II Pediatric Trauma Center for Western Washington — Valley Hospital, and Tacoma General Hospital, which is home to the region’s only Level IV Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Physicians of Southwest Washington (PSW) is an Independent Physician Association founded in 1995 by Thurston County physicians to provide continuity of health plan access and to maximize quality of care for their patients. PSW represents a network of more than 550 physicians and health care providers and on their behalf negotiates health plan risk-based contracts; provides care management, credentialing and claims processing; explores new business models to sustain independent practices; and is a 51 percent owner of NW Momentum Health Partners, a Next-Generation ACO.