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Companies have started direct contracting for health care, bypassing insurers. Here's what it means for Philadelphia.
August 24, 2018, Philadelphia Business Journal
Lowes does it. So does Boeing, in certain parts of the country. Walmart has done it for about two decades. General Motors announced earlier this month it plans to do it too. But to date, few Philadelphia-area employers have taken the plunge. The health care trend that’s been slow to catch on locally is direct contracting for health care services between businesses and providers. Those experimenting with the model — which bypasses health insurers as middlemen — are typically large companies like airplane manufacturers that self-insure their health benefits and are looking for a new way to lower the care costs and improve health outcomes.

But that’s changing.

“We are in active discussions with several medium- and large-sized employers in the Philadelphia region who have approached us after our work in this space became public,” said Dr. Jonathan Slotkin, the medial director and associate chief medical informatics officer at Geisinger Health System in Danville. “We are going to be aggressively pursuing opportunities to bring our Geisinger care to companies in the Philadelphia area.”

A survey released earlier this month by the National Business Group on Health found direct contracting with health systems and providers is expected to expand from 3 percent this year to 11 percent in 2019.


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