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Highmark CEO: ACA marketplace stabilization requires a community approach

New patients with chronic illnesses have disrupted the market, but integrated systems can cater to the consumer

Highlighting the benefits of an integrated health system, Highmark CEO David Holmberg told Trib Live that a "healthcare community" approach to care will bring stability to the Affordable Care Act marketplace.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 5.3 million members in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia. Although the insurer has taken steps to mitigate losses from ACA marketplace plans--including shrinking provider networks and cutting physician payments--Holmberg expects the company's integrated systems approach to healthcare will lead to better consumer-oriented care. Highmark Health, the third-largest integrated delivery system in the country, owns Allegheny Health Network.

Holmberg highlighted the plan's "reactive approach" to care, which allows for more consumer flexibility and offers an effective way to manage patients with chronic illnesses. Thanks to the ACA, Highmark has seen an influx of chronically ill patients to the health insurance market, which means ACA marketplace stability will rely on collaboration with a wide range of community healthcare partners.

"We believe that it's a shared responsibility to figure out how to stabilize this," Holmberg told Trib Live. "It's not just about the insurance companies. It's not just about the hospitals or physicians. It's about the entire healthcare community coming up with solutions to make sure that there is access."

Other payer CEOs have voiced similar thoughts on ACA marketplace plans that incurred steep losses in 2015. Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini has thrown his support behind the struggling exchanges, adding that he wants to work with the Obama administration to improve them. Cigna CEO David Cordani has pushed for more flexibility within ACA plans.

For more:
- read the Trib Live article

Related Articles:
Highmark will cut physician payments to stem ACA-compliant plan losses
Highmark will shift to narrow-network plans amid losses in exchange business
Aetna CEO supports ACA exchanges, but seeks improvements
Cigna CEO: ACA marketplace needs to offer flexibility to insurers