Health Transformation Alliance Looking to Disrupt Healthcare for Its Employees

When 20 of the United States’ largest companies (including American Express, Coca-Cola and Verizon) announced the formation of the Health Transformation Alliance that covers approximately four million people, they got everyone’s attention. In creating the Alliance, the companies have banded together to use their collective data and market power in a bid to hold down the cost of health-care benefits.

Alliance members intend to share information about employee health spending and outcomes, with a goal to use those findings to change how they contract for care. According to the Wall Street Journal, some members say they might even form a purchasing cooperative to negotiate for lower prices, or attempt to change their relationships with insurance administrators and drug-benefit managers.

Given the size and reputations of the companies involved, any changes member companies choose to make could impact the world of employer-provided health coverage, which includes roughly 170 million Americans.

According to a news release from February announcing the Health Transformation Alliance, there are four main goals in pooling resources, information and knowledge:

  1. Greater Marketplace Efficiencies: The alliance seeks to gain leverage and create an organization whose sole focus will be to ensure the health care needs of employees are being met more effectively and efficiently.
  2. Learning from Data: Pooling aggregated data (that doesn’t identify individual patient information) will allow the Alliance it to improve the effectiveness of the health care supply chain, to deliver better health care while reducing costs.
  3. Educating Employees: Members of the Alliance hope to develop better and more helpful tools to educate employees to better navigate health care choices, which will result in better outcomes, increased savings and more satisfied employees.
  4. Breaking Bad Habits: Neither doctors, nor patients, are armed with a full range of facts concerning best outcomes and pricing for pharmaceuticals. The Alliance hopes to change costly and inefficient purchasing and contracting systems that don’t deliver better health care results, but do drive up health care costs.

In truth, all companies—healthcare related or not—could definitely benefit from those four goals. And right now, the big question is, will they succeed?

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