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As more health systems offer health insurance, health IT fills niche

9:34 am by | 0 Comments

hand shake deal mergerThe concept of health insurance provided by health systems is not a new one. Kaiser Permanente, for example, has been doing it for years. In the buildup to tomorrow’s launch of the health insurance exchanges, several health systems have been rolling out their own plans. Evolent Health, founded by University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System and hospital consulting  business The Advisory Board Company, is working with about 15 hospital systems to help them set up their own insurance plans.

Evolent Health has raised $100 million in a Series B round, according to a company statement. In addition to the Advisory Board and UPMC Health System, it added TPG Growth as an investor. Arlington, Virginia-based Evolent Health licenses its proprietary software to hospitals to help health systems run insurance plans. It also provides tools to help with the transition from the fee-for-service payment model to outcomes-based care. The funding is intended to help the business further develop its population health and risk management platform and increase its national network.

Among the health systems Evolent is working with are Piedmont Healthcare, WellStar Health System, Indiana University Health, MedStar Health and Premier Health. Piedmont and WellStar are developing commercial and Medicare Advantage insurance products to launch next year.

In a statement Frank Williams, CEO of Evolent, said: “With our physician and provider partners, Evolent is able to fully align with the clinical and financial imperatives of the health care system. With this investment, we can extend our reach to serve even more systems in more markets.”

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Supporters of health insurance plans provided by hospital systems see them as a logical evolution to support the new care models that Obamacare health reform calls for. Others worry about the inevitable problems caused when one needs medical treatment beyond the bounds of the health system.

But those qualms have not dampened the roll out of these plans. Heath Leaders Media listed some of the newer plans set to debut on the health insurance exchange tomorrow:

[Photo of hand shake deal merger from Flickr]

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Stephanie Baum

By Stephanie Baum

Stephanie Baum is the East Coast Innovation Reporter for MedCityNews.com. She enjoys covering healthcare startups across health IT, drug development and medical devices and innovations deployed to improve medical care. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania and has worked across radio, print and video. She's written for The Christian Science Monitor, Dow Jones & Co. and United Business Media.
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