The Portland InterHospital Physicians Association (Portland IPA) said it was creating a new ACO called Care Connect Northwest, including 700 providers in 12 physician organizations. Care Connect is designed to focus on a collaborative care model that integrates primary care with specialty providers for both acute and preventive care.

In a statement, Care Connect manager Stephen Townsend said, “This new effort is at the heart of health reform as framed by the Affordable Care Act. We are helping physician groups move away from the traditional fee-for-service structure to a more value-based model of reimbursement.”

Care Connect Northwest includes primary care and specialties such as allergy, audiology, obstetrics, gynecology, nephrology, pediatrics, cardiology, neurology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, ophthalmology, dermatology, oncology, podiatry, sleep medicine, burn treatment and critical care medicine as well as hospitalist services. 

Our Take: Care Connect has two distinct points of differentiation: its tight network of primary care and specialty physicians, and that it creates a Portland-area structure for both commercial and Medicare contracting. It will face stiff competition for Medicare patients from another leading regional ACO, Adventist Health, based in Roseville, California.

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