Englewood-based Centura Health and Denver-based DaVita HealthCare Partners announced a joint venture Nov. 6 that “will offer a differentiated health care delivery model that will help optimize health care value and lower costs for consumers in Colorado and Kansas,” according to a news release.

“The two partners will combine their expertise to provide enhanced resources that increase coordination of care, equip care providers with sophisticated analytical tools and focus on prevention.”

The new entity will be based in Colorado and jointly owned 50/50 by Centura Health and DaVita HealthCare Partners.

According to Skip Thurman, senior director of communications at DaVita HealthCare Partners, “Patients can expect better care through increased coordination and a unique focus on prevention.”


Dr. Kit K. Brekhus is executive physician director for Centura Health’s Colorado Health Neighborhoods, which is “a proactive model that focuses on wellness, healthy behaviors and illness prevention while offering care that’s cost-effective, convenient and accessible,” according to Centura’s website.

A Colorado Health Neighborhoods facility is projected to open in Monument before the end of the year and will house a significant Penrose-St. Francis Health Services presence. A second CHN facility is slated to open next summer near Lake Avenue in southwest Colorado Springs.

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Brekhus said the alignment with DaVita better optimizes value.

“The joint venture really is going to be a company that offers the best of both parents,” Brekhus said. “Both sides are contributing competencies to the organization. … Ultimately our task is to improve quality while reducing costs, and with that enhancing the experience for patients and consumers.”

Varied cooperation

Brekhus said DaVita HealthCare Partners, for instance, will bring advanced data analytics that Centura Health did not previously employ, while Centura will provide, among other tools, a 24-hour nurse triage service and an interactive patient education platform, Brekhus said.

“Currently sometimes data is disparate and not easily accessible,” he said. “The analytics platform that this venture will offer gives us information on patients right when we need it.”

The news release said the model would “lessen the complexity, confusion and fragmentation of health care for consumers by helping care providers to be more effective in making critical decisions about consumer care, reducing unnecessary costly medical interventions and rewarding providers for helping consumers actively manage and maintain their health.”

Thurman elaborated on the potential for decreased costs.

“We are shifting from fee for service to fee for value. We pioneered it and have been doing it for two decades. Caregivers will be rewarded for their actual clinical outcomes and patient care — not volume,” he said, adding that gaps in the continuum of care are created when patients are juggled between primary care physicians and specialists through multiple facilities.

“… It is very hard to coordinate that care and make sure that the patient gets the right care at the right time. Patients often are readmitted to hospitals because they don’t understand the discharge instructions,” Thurman said. “We will deliver processes and technology to better coordinate care and manage referrals to ensure that consumers get high-quality, low-cost care.”

CSHP acquisition unaffected

[pullquote]“The CSHP venture and the new entity created with Centura are completely separate entities.” – Skip Thurman, DaVita[/pullquote]DaVita HealthCare Partners had announced Oct. 22 that it is in the process of acquiring Colorado Springs Health Partners, a long-established group with more than 130 providers and 11 locations in the Pikes Peak region.

Thurman said the joint venture would not affect that deal.

“The CSHP venture and the new entity created with Centura are completely separate entities,” Thurman said. “We are excited to work with CSHP to help them grow and drive population health management. At the same time we are excited to partner with the largest hospital system in Colorado to deliver high-quality, low-cost care. The two will want to work together, but we look forward to growing them separately.”

Brekhus did say the joint venture will better position both DaVita HealthCare Partners and Centura in the health care marketplace.

“It is certainly going to increase our standing in the eyes of consumers as more and more look to our network as a place where they can get high-tech, quality care,” Brekhus said.

“We will be known as an organization that is centered on the consumer who lives in Colorado and Kansas.”