Sanford Health recognized as one of the most highly integrated healthcare networks

Sanford Health has again been honored for its integration. SDI recently announced the SDI 2011 Top 100 IHNs, the 14th edition of its annual assessment of the 100 most integrated healthcare networks (IHNs). SDI�s report, regarded as the nation�s premier rating system, evaluates IHNs on their performance and degree of integration. The ratings are based on SDI�s IHN Rating System, which evaluates each network�s ability to operate as a unified organization in eight categories: integration, integrated technology, contractual capabilities, outpatient utilization, financial stability, services and access, hospital utilization and physicians.

"Our integrated delivery system offers our patients continuity of care,� said Becky Nelson, Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Sanford Health. �The connection between our physicians, clinics, hospitals, health plan and other services means our patients have a more seamless experience. That connection also provides for high quality and safety which is why integrated systems frequently rank among the best for patient care. We're very pleased to be part of the Top 100 Integrated Health Networks group and see it as a testimonial to the smooth and effective manner the Sanford Health – MeritCare merger was accomplished for the benefit of our patients and communities"

IHNs that made both the top 100 continued to improve their integrated technology scores, particularly in the area of information services (IS) integration, which measures integration of IS programs across the IHN. Additionally, IHNs in the top 100 saw increases in scores for having real-time central medical records. These scores may further grow in the coming year in response to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services� initiatives to have providers adopt and achieve meaningful use of electronic health record technology.

�In anticipation of Medicare payment reform, many hospitals, physician groups, and health systems are looking into the formation of accountable care organizations (ACOs),� said Pat Witman, Associate Product Director, Healthcare Profiling Solutions for SDI. �IHNs, with their network of providers already in place, are well-positioned to enter this arena.�

Nelson added, "Sanford's high level of integration and comprehensive primary care and other specialty physician services enables us to be serve as a model for an accountable care organization."

To see the top 100 networks, visit the IHN information page at www.sdihealth.com.

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