News of an unusual joint venture between Anthem Blue Cross and seven Los Angeles health systems signaled new competition for Kaiser Permanente, the integrated health system with one of California's largest insurers. It also underscores the eagerness across the industry to broker novel and riskier deals in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
The new company—called Vivity—will seek to replicate some of Kaiser Permanente's success managing the use and cost of healthcare, but without the ownership Kaiser has over its health plans and health system. To do so, participants in the joint venture agreed to share equally in profits and losses.
The venture will market a new health plan to employers with no deductible and premiums 10% below competitors, according to Anthem Blue Cross, a division of publicly traded insurer WellPoint. Patients who select the health plan will be limited to a select network of providers, which includes 6,000 doctors and 14 hospitals. The California Public Employees' Retirement System agreed to include the Vivity network in its HMO plan.