Geisinger, Highmark sign letter of intent for joint venture

Two major players in health care are teaming up on clinical network project, which may include the development of a health campus in the Montoursville area.

Geisinger Health System and Highmark Inc. announced Wednesday a letter of intent to create a clinical joint venture focusing on north central Pennsylvania. According to a release by the organizations, the network would include access for Highmark and Geisinger Health Plan members along with those in Medicare Advantage Plans.

“Highmark and Geisinger are recognized and trusted names in health care, and we have long collaborated to provide our members with access to the high-quality care provided by Geisinger’s hospitals and physicians,” said Deborah Rice-Johnson, Highmark Health Plan president, in a statement. “Our joint experience in care delivery and care management can help to advance value and affordability.”

The release also mentioned the possible development of a model of care “featuring a network of community-based sites, including a comprehensive health campus in the Montoursville area.”

“The goal of this new facility will be to deliver important medical services and clinical capabilities in the local community that are complementary to the advanced tertiary services available at Geisinger Medical Center,” said Lynn Miller, Geisinger executive vice president of clinical operations and chief administrative officer, in the release. “We are currently assessing community needs and levels of appropriate investment to meet those needs.”

Sue Baranik, a Geisinger spokeperson, said the facility plan was not confirmed, however, and the signing of the letter is the first step in exploring what a partnership would look like for the organizations.