Last week, 1199SEIU announced the launch of a program that will coordinate care for close to 15,000 union members and their families, who already receive much of their care from Montefiore-affiliated programs.

The partnership involving 1199SEIU Benefit Funds, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East and Montefiore Health System, the 1199SEIU Montefiore Coordinated Care Program will, according to 1199SEIU President George Gresham, “give 1199SEIU members the extra support they need to stay healthy with more streamlined care.”

The program was designed using the “best practices” from Montefiore’s Accountable Care Organization, which is part of the Pioneer ACO Medicare program that launched two years ago to test new models of health care delivery. According to the union, this is Montefiore’s first ACO arrangement with a self-administered union-management fund.

The new program, similar to Pioneer ACO Medicare, is designed to help people with chronic and complex conditions improve their quality of life, ensure care based on the best medical practices, improve the understanding of their condition and reduce hospital and emergency room visits. The program will also create care management teams that will give employees access to health care professionals such as nurses and social workers. This team will have the ability to develop a personalized plan to help employees manage a chronic condition, recover from a serious illness or transition from a hospital stay to an aftercare setting.

According to Montefiore Health System President and CEO Steven M. Safyer, M.D., this service couldn’t have come at a better time.

“For nearly 20 years, Montefiore has provided coordinated, integrated patient care through our care management organization. This new program builds upon our experience and will impact the lives of 1199SEIU members and their families,” said Safyer in a statement. “The 1199SEIU Montefiore Coordinated Care Program has grown from Montefiore’s comprehensive approach to care and focuses on each patient’s unique needs to help them optimize their health. Our clinicians are accountable for how well their patients do and the quality of their services, instead of the number of services they provide.”

Mitra Behroozi, 1199SEIU Benefit Funds executive director, said she’s “pleased to be able to add to our successful cost-containment programs by taking advantage of new payment arrangements, available under the Affordable Care Act, that reward high value and quality.”