Partnership announced for Saint Thomas Health

National HealthCare Corporation and Saint Thomas Health embarked on a partnership Monday geared around care coordination.

One specific area of focus is reducing hospital readmissions, executives said. The three-year agreement will include coordinating how technology and communication can help in transitions. It also will evaluate quality metrics.

"All of us in healthcare are collectively responsible for the outcomes of patients. It's something that's been needed for a long time,” said Stephen Flatt, CEO of NHC in Murfreesboro.

NHC has 32 skilled nursing facilities in Tennessee. Its agreement with Saint Thomas is the most comprehensive  and involved of any of those partnerships involved bundled payments or accountable care organizations, Flatt told The Tennessean.