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Group Health Selects Swedish as Contracted Provider of Seattle-Based Hospital Services Starting in February 2016

Letter of Intent signals Group Health's ongoing commitment to provide members access to excellent care and patient experience in a more affordable way

SEATTLE, Aug. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Group Health announced today that it has signed a Letter of Intent for Swedish Health Services to provide its Seattle-based hospital services starting in February 2016.

This will include transitioning Group Health's award-winning maternity services from its Capitol Hill location, to Swedish. Group Health physicians and midwives will continue to provide their unique approach to maternity care for their members. These services will transition in spring of 2015.

"This is all about our responsibility to create the best value for each individual we serve, which we define as the combination of great quality care, an excellent member experience, and affordability that ensures access for those who need it -- when and where they need it," said Group Health President and CEO Scott Armstrong. "With the needs of our members at the forefront of this decision-making process, we have absolute confidence that Swedish is the right choice."

"We have a long, proud history of successfully working side-by-side with physicians at major hospitals throughout Washington state, coordinating closely with these colleagues so Group Health members and patients get the high-quality, evidence-based medical services they need," said Steve Tarnoff, MD, Group Health Physicians president and chief medical executive. "We look forward to building strong clinical relationships, and to introducing our Seattle-area patients and medical staff to the excellent Swedish Health Services hospital facilities here in Seattle."

Group Health consistently evaluates both internal and external services. Consequently, it conducted a rigorous 10-month evaluation of Seattle-area inpatient (or hospital-based) services. This included multiple rounds of proposal reviews and extensive physician engagement with the Seattle hospitals that are among the best in the country. "Part of our commitment is to be good stewards on behalf of our members," added Armstrong. "Although the health care landscape is always changing, honoring our values through ensuring member access to unrestricted, affordable, quality service remains at the heart of Group Health's priorities and decisions."

Perspective from Swedish

"Group Health selecting Swedish as its Seattle-based hospital provider will help increase access to quality, affordable care. We look forward to serving their members through Swedish Medical Center's First Hill and Cherry Hill hospitals," said Swedish Chief Executive Officer Anthony Armada, FACHE. "Working in tandem with Group Health physicians and clinicians, we will ensure members continue benefiting from Group Health's award-winning model of care."

For More Information

Members with questions can call Group Health's toll-free Customer Service number at 1-888-901-4636 any time Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Hearing-impaired members can use the TTY Washington Relay Service at 711 or 1-800-833-6388.

About Group Health

Group Health is a unique health care system linking care delivery and insurance coverage in order to achieve one goal – affordable, quality health care for all. This innovative approach has made Group Health a national leader in a new era of health care reform, and its goals have remained the same since the Cooperative began serving patients in 1947. As a nonprofit organization, Group Health helps more than 596,000 patients throughout Washington state and north Idaho achieve better health. Group Health's focus on preventive care – combined with medical education, a charitable foundation and a nationally recognized research institute – advances health in the community in a way no other organization can. Group Health supports events, programs and organizations that share this commitment to strengthening health in our communities. For more information, visit www.ghc.org, www.ghinnovates.org, www.facebook.com/grouphealthcooperative and @GroupHealth on Twitter.

SOURCE Group Health Cooperative

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