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Hospitals in Md. form alliance to improve care, cut costs

Five Maryland-based health systems, comprising 10 hospitals, are forming an alliance to share ideas and programs that can cut costs and improve health care, the systems announced Tuesday.

Called the Advanced Health Collaborative LLC, the systems include LifeBridge Health and Mercy Health Services in the Baltimore region, as well as Adventist HealthCare, Peninsula Regional Health System and Trivergent Health Alliance including Frederick Regional Health System and Meritus Health and Western Maryland Health System.

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The systems are responding to a change in the way they bring in revenue. Maryland operates under a unique agreement with federal regulators where hospitals are now reimbursed based on the populations they serve rather than a fee-for-service basis. That puts an emphasis on keeping people healthy and out of the hospital.

Officials say the new alliance will allow the hospitals to collaborate on programs that share resources or services and provide a platform to discuss the new health care landscape without having to formally merge into one large system. The alliance could also advocate for members with state and federal authorities and influence policy.

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