Payers: Emphasize primary care to lower costs

Tandigm Health CEO Anthony Coletta: No one is better positioned to drive down costs than PCPs

If insurers emphasize primary care to their members instead of specialty care, they can help lower healthcare costs, according to a panel of insurance experts speaking in Philadelphia.

To do that, insurers should prioritize primary care doctors in their health plans, which could make the overall system easier for patients to navigate and reduce hospitalizations, reported MedCity News.

"Our customers are primary care physicians--period," said Anthony Coletta, CEO of Tandigm Health, a joint venture between Independence Blue Cross and DaVita HealthCare Partners in Philadelphia. And no one is better positioned to drive down costs. 

To incentivize members to seek more care from their primary docs, insurers should offer providers financial rewards, better tools to understand population health and empower them with data and clinical resources, Coletta added, according to the article.

Insurers must also build strong relationships with providers rather than fight each other, said John Montgomery, vice president and medical officer of Humana, according to the article.

The chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island agrees, saying that payers and providers must collaborate in order to create an integrated healthcare system that coordinates care, lowers costs and boosts quality, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

Aetna also has recognized the need for strong payer-provider relationships and has created joint operating committees with physicians as well as a good governance structure for each of its accountable care organizations.

To learn more:
- read the MedCity News article

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