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Aetna, Texas Health Resources establish a jointly owned health plan

The partnership is the first of its kind in Texas for the organizations, but represents Aetna's second joint venture with a nonprofit health system.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

In another provider-insurer collaboration, Texas Health Resources and Aetna on Thursday announced the formation of a jointly owned health plan company.

Texas Health brings to the table the providers along with an investment in population health management. Aetna has the health plan expertise and analytical insights.

[Also: Missouri rejects Aetna, Humana merger, would block business if takeover continues]

Aetna and Texas Health Resources will equally share ownership and accountability, according to a statement from both organizations.

The partnership is the first of its kind in Texas for the organizations, but represents Aetna's second joint venture with a nonprofit health system. Aetna said it plans to move 75 percent of its contracts to value-based care models by 2020.

Collaborations between providers and insurers are becoming more common as a way to lower costs and the price of premiums.

Earlier this month, Cigna announced a joint accountable care organization model with Integrated Independent Physicians Network in Florida.

[Also: Cigna, Integrated Independent Physicians Network in Florida form ACO]

"By sharing accountability equally, Aetna and Texas Health will be able to streamline processes and eliminate inefficiencies that will lead to health care savings for consumers and employers in the form of more affordable premiums," said Michael Nelson, Aetna's market president for Texas.

The new health plan in Texas will combine fully integrated care teams, health insurance benefits and administrative services to eliminate redundancies of care and to reduce administrative hassles, Aetna and Texas Health Resources said.

Both employers and consumers in North Texas will benefit from more affordable, high-quality and better-coordinated care, they said.

New fully-insured and self-insured commercial products will be offered to employers and consumers in 14 counties in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro area, and are anticipated to be available on Jan. 1, 2017, pending regulatory approval.

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The new partnership will feature the Southwestern Health Resources network as its core, which includes more than 500 physicians in Texas Health's employed physician group.

Texas Health's 69 outpatient facilities include surgery centers, fitness centers, imaging centers and more than 250 other community access points. Its hospitals include 16 acute-care facilities, along with six short-stay, one transitional care and two rehabilitation hospitals.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse

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