Large companies form alliance to tackle healthcare costs

Twenty major U.S. corporations announced Friday that they would share data and expertise in an effort to curb healthcare costs.

The group of companies, which includes Nashville-based hospital operator HCA, say they want to “break with existing marketplace practices that are costly, wasteful and efficient.” Members of the group, known as the Health Transformation Alliance, represent some of America's largest employers. They collectively spend more than $14 billion a year on healthcare benefits for 4 million people.

Large employers have increasingly looked for ways to bring down their rising healthcare expenses through strategies such as on-site clinics, narrow networks, and contracting with centers of excellence for specific procedures. The alliance framed its efforts as a way to bring down costs for their employees, including insurance premiums, deductibles and drug costs.

Members will begin aggregating data about provider costs and patient outcomes this year, and they intend to work on providing more affordable prescription drugs in 2017. Further initiatives will come in 2018 or later, according to a news release.

The group says it intends to focus on finding more efficient ways to navigate the healthcare marketplace, improve the effectiveness of the healthcare supply chain and better educate patients about their healthcare choices. The companies feel that patients and physicians aren't well-informed about cost-effective options, especially when it comes to prescription drugs.

The alliance says it will dedicate significant attention to the healthcare supply chain, especially for drugs, targeting purchasing and contracting systems that “don't deliver better healthcare results but do drive up healthcare costs.”

The member companies are:

  • American Express Co.
  • American Water Works Co.
  • BNSF Railway Co.
  • Brunswick Corp.
  • Caterpillar
  • Coca-Cola Co.
  • E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
  • HCA
  • Hartford Financial Services Group
  • IBM Corp.
  • Ingersoll-Rand
  • International Paper Co.
  • Lincoln Financial Group
  • Macy's Inc.
  • Marriott International
  • NextEra Energy
  • Pitney Bowes
  • Shell Oil Co.
  • Verizon Communications
  • Weyerhaeuser Co.

  • Adam Rubenfire

    Adam Rubenfire covers supply chain for Modern Healthcare. His beat responsibilities include pharmaceuticals, medical devices, capital equipment, group purchasing organizations and medical supplies. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Automotive News and Crain’s Detroit Business. He has a bachelor’s degree in organizational studies from the University of Michigan. He joined Modern Healthcare in 2014.

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