- Fort Washington, PA-based Noble Health Alliance is calling it quits, citing changes in the region’s healthcare market, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.
- The ACO — comprised of Aria Health, Crozer-Keystone Health System, Abington Health and Einstein Healthcare Network — was formed in 2014 to develop strategies for improving patient care and cutting healthcare costs.
- Noble plans to cease daily business operations by the end of June, with complete dissolution by year’s end.
Noble is another example of organizations to close their doors while citing the "changing healthcare" industry, as Buffalo Cardiology & Pulmonary Associates did earlier this month.
According to Aaron Money, a senior managing director of San Francisco private equity firm FFL, which invests in healthcare services, there are a number of ongoing changes in the healthcare field that make it difficult for small, independent group practices and solo practitioners to thrive. “Probably the biggest factors are ever-increasing coding and documentation requirements, greater complexity in how reimbursement works and the importance of demonstrating quality outcomes,” he told Healthcare Dive. “Heightened competition for new patients – both from sophisticated multi-channel marketing and the emergence of different models to better capture referrals from other providers – is another continuing trend.”
Kathleen Kinslow, chair of Noble’s board of managers and CEO of Aria Health, said in a news release that the care and cost goals still matter. “However, as some Nobel member health systems have entered into mergers and acquisitions, and considering the rapidly evolving healthcare market in the Philadelphia region, the board of managers believes that Noble Health Alliance is no longer the optimal model through which to achieve our quality and cost goals.”
Last year, Abington Health merged with the Jefferson Health System and dropped out of the network. Aria has signed a definitive agreement to join that system, while Crozer-Keystone is being acquired by Los Angeles-based Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit hospital management firm.
The health plan for the four systems includes 15 hospitals and roughly 4,600 doctors and clinicians, and covers 39,000 employees and independents. Philadelphia area insurer Independence Blue Cross is the sole administrator for the providers’ self-insured health plan and the preferred insurer for the ACO.