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In the Media

12.09.09 Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, CareMore and Bright Health Physicians form Alliance


Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, CareMore and Bright Health Physicians form Alliance for the First Time to Reshape Care of Local Seniors

WHITTIER, Calif. (November 16, 2009) – In a groundbreaking alliance designed to revolutionize the care of seniors in the San Gabriel Valley, four of the most prominent health care forces in Whittier – Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital, CareMore Medical Group, CareMore Health Plan and Bright Health Physicians -- have formed a collaborative agreement, the parties have announced.

All four health care entities have a long-standing history in serving the health care needs of the Whittier area community. This is the first time that all four organizations have joined forces to help improve access to superior care and, as a united entity, to provide greater value through high quality healthcare services.

"This creates a local 'dream team' of healthcare stars and is by far the most advanced patient-oriented alliance we have ever undertaken," said James R. West, President and Chief Executive Officer, Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (PIH). "By partnering with our premier physicians at Bright Health Physicians, the CareMore Medical Group physicians and with the unique model of care provided to seniors with CareMore, our goal is to create a comprehensive local healthcare system that will provide superior care and an incredible value to seniors in the Greater Whittier area."

The strategic alliance is based on a contractual agreement designed to allow all organizations to focus on setting a new standard in caring for seniors. Under Cerritos-based CareMore's Medicare Advantage plans, area members will, for the first time, be allowed to select Bright Health Physicians and PIH as their healthcare providers and patients of CareMore physicians will be able to select PIH as their hospital. Another first is that Bright Health Physicians and PIH patients will be allowed to join CareMore's Medicare plans. The alliance entities offer multi-lingual physicians and staff to serve all ethnicities with cultural sensitivity. In return, seniors will have access to many value-oriented healthcare benefits provided by CareMore, such as no-cost diabetes supplies, at-home electronic monitoring of high blood pressure and congestive heart failure, no-cost hospitalization and physician services, prescription medications, free transportation, podiatry services, mental health and a CareMore Care Center that recently opened on Whittier Boulevard. CareMore operates the Care Center as a medical hub in the community, allowing seniors to come in during the day to undergo testing and treatment and participate in educational programs and classes. CareMore currently provides care to more than 35,000 seniors throughout California, with about 8,000 in the greater Whittier area.

"Through our strong relationships with community physicians, CareMore has been a long-time partner of Whittier-area seniors who have become accustomed to our value and service," said Leeba Lessin, President of CareMore and a longtime Whittier resident. "I have been enthused by the planning efforts that have lead to this alliance. I am certain that our collaboration will result in even better service and value to our community," she added. "PIH and Bright Health Physicians share our commitment to excellence and innovation. There are certain things that just don't work right in the health system unless all parties responsible for patient care - doctors, hospitals and health plans - are rowing in the same direction. We think this alliance will allow us to innovate in unprecedented ways. I don't think it's a stretch to say we intend to be a national leader in senior care."

CareMore was cited in a recent study by Health Affairs magazine as one of the nation's "Medical Home Runs" Medicare programs. CareMore was one of four groups selected that is changing the way seniors are being medically treated. The study also cited CareMore's unique prevention programs such as Fall Prevention, exercise and lifestyle programs aimed at reducing health risks for seniors.

"Our physicians are very passionate about this new era of care for their senior patients," said Jennifer L. Jackman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Bright Health Physicians, which features more than 150 primary care and 180 specialty doctors. "Our doctors believe this innovative alliance will directly help improve the overall health of each and every senior in the Greater Whittier area and will allow our patients to access the many exceptional benefits of CareMore." Bright Health Physicians was formed in 2008 when Bright Medical Associates joined together with Presbyterian Health Physicians, making the combined entity the largest physician group in the greater Whittier area.

This new alliance is formally set to launch in December of 2009, allowing seniors to join the program during Medicare's open enrollment period, which ends in March, 2010.

Background on Organizations

About Bright Health Physicians & PIH



  • Affiliated exclusively with Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (PIH)
  • Dedicated to quality & patient satisfaction
  • 150+ primary care physicians
  • 180+ specialty physicians
  • Convenient medical offices located throughout Whittier, Hacienda Heights, Norwalk, La Mirada, La Habra, Pico Rivera, La Puente, City of Industry, Rowland Heights, and Santa Fe Springs with same day appointments available for primary care in many of our doctors' offices. If a same day appointment is not available, Bright Health Physicians also has an Urgent Care Center to serve you.
  • Urgent Care Access (evenings, weekends, and holidays) Bright Health Physicians Urgent Care Center 15733 Whittier Blvd. Whittier, CA 90603 Phone: 562.947.7754 (Cross streets Whittier Blvd. & Santa Gertrudes) Hours: Monday – Friday: 2 pm to 10 pm Weekends/Holidays: 9 am to 6 pm
  • Patients are seen on a walk-in basis, no appointment is necessary.
  • Multilingual physicians
  • We offer a number of special benefit services including community health education classes and health screenings, and mobile screening clinics.
  • Health education classes are open to the public. All classes are designed to enhance self-management and responsibility toward developing and maintaining a healthier lifestyle.
    • Topics covered include:
      • Weight Management
      • Diabetes Management
      • Cholesterol Management
      • Stress Management
      • Asthma
      • Smoking Cessation

Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital (PIH)


  • Mission: PIH is a not-for-profit regional hospital that provides high-quality health care without discrimination, and contributes to the health and well-being of our communities in an ethical, safe, and fiscally prudent manner in recognition of our charitable purpose.
  • 444-bed hospital serving nearly 1.5 million residents in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
  • Centers of Excellence including: the Heart & Lung Center at PIH, the Ruby L. Golleher Comprehensive Cancer Program, Maternal-Child Health Services at PIH, the R.C. Baker Foundation Emergency Center at PIH, Critical Care Services at PIH, and Hospice and Home Health Services.
  • Accredited by The Joint Commission, PIH is the recipient of several prestigious honors.
  • Ranked best in the greater LA and OC regions for isolated open-heart surgeries (CABG). PIH earned this ranking from the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in a 2005-2006 combined state data survey among those hospitals whose heart programs performed at least 160 cases.
  • Recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award for cancer services by The American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer.
  • Designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiology.
  • The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency of Los Angeles County designated PIH as a ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) Receiving Center, which has been shown to improve the speed and quality of lifesaving care for heart attack patients.
  • American Heart Association designation as a "Get With The Guidelines" Hospital for acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, and stroke.
  • Certification by the Joint Commission for the PIH Stroke Care Program.
  • Family Practice Residency Program affiliated with UCI, School of Medicine

About CareMore Medical Group

  • 23 staff and 30+ Independent primary care physicians serving the greater Whittier, Downey, Brea and Anaheim communities
  • Founded in 1993
  • Serving more than 10,000 seniors in 13 offices
  • Founded CareMore Health Plan

About CareMore Health Plan

CareMore is a senior healthcare organization specializing in providing a complete, proactive healthcare experience to senior Americans.

CareMore's Mission is to:

  • Provide focused and innovative healthcare approaches to the complex problems of aging.
  • Serve members by prolonging active and independent life.
  • Serve caregivers and family by providing support, education, and access to services.
  • Protect precious financial resources of seniors and the Medicare Program through innovative methods of managing chronic disease, frailty, and end of life.

How many seniors does CareMore serve? The company serves 35,000 seniors in Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino and Santa Clara counties in California. The company recently expanded in Modesto, CA; Tucson, AZ; and Clark, NV. What products does CareMore offer? CareMore offers a variety of health plans (Value Plus, Reliance, Breathe, Connect, ESRD, Touch and Heart) for all Medicare beneficiaries, including plans for low-income seniors, people with chronic illnesses and those living in skilled nursing facilities.