9 February 2016

Major Corporations Including Coca-Cola and Macy’s Band Together to Take On Rising Healthcare Costs

The private sector has joined the impetus toward value-based care, and in a big way. Twenty of the nation’s largest companies announced Friday that they have formed the not-for-profit Health Transformation Alliance. The Alliance, which includes American Express, Coca-Cola, HCA, IBM, Marriott, Macy’s and Verizon, is aiming to dramatically shift the way companies provide healthcare benefits. Its website asserts that “The health care status quo cannot be maintained” and that its members are bringing their collective resources to bear to “fix what’s broken and transform the corporate health care marketplace to help our employees, retirees and their dependents.” 

The Alliance will focus on improving healthcare supply chain efficiency by reducing redundancies and waste. The participants, which provide coverage for roughly 4 million employees in total, will begin sharing and aggregating their data on employee health spending and outcomes as early as this year to help them identify which treatments and providers deliver better outcomes. They potentially could use incentives or recommendations to encourage employees to choose those providers.

According to a Wall Street Journal article by Louise Radnofsky, some members say the Alliance will consider forming a purchasing cooperative to use their collective market power to negotiate lower prices and might also “take a hard look at the industry’s middlemen, such as pharmacy-benefit managers and the third-party administrators.” The Alliance is expected to announce a pilot project for 2017 that will focus on lowering prescription medication costs. Participants hope that additional companies will join this cross-industry initiative.

This push by many of the country’s top corporations adds to the already building pressure that government mandates and incentives are putting on the U.S. healthcare system to deliver value-based care. Health providers who do not transform their care model to deliver demonstrably value-based care quickly could soon risk losing revenue based on corporations’ analysis of their cost/quality of care value proposition.

Here are a few strategies to consider that can help your hospital or health system improve outcomes, patient satisfaction and efficiency: