Temple Health and Independence Blue Cross announced a new 18-month contract, IBC said Wednesday. The deal was effective Jan. 1.

The contract is designed to help speed the shift from IBC paying for the volume of services provided to a model that calls for shared accountability for cost and quality, IBC said. The shorter term is expected to allow the two parties to work on the collaborative model, without being stuck in a traditional, three-year contract.

"The contract extension with TUHS displays an important first step in the health system's willingness to embrace our new nontraditional, collaborative model of care and provides the road map for both parties to move towards our new destination," Daniel J. Hilferty, president and chief executive of Independence Blue Cross said in a news release.

The model aimed at IBC and Temple calls for combining claims data with clinical records in a way that will allow for better coordination of patient treatment.

"The potential benefits are substantial: more coordinated care, less duplication of care, more informed medical decision-making, and potentially better outcomes for our patients," said Larry R. Kaiser, president and chief executive of Temple University Health System.

Separately, Independence subsidiary AmeriHealth New Jersey promoted Michael Munoz to market president from senior vice president of sales and marketing. AmeriHealth New Jersey has 270,000 members statewide.