Heritage Provider Network and German kidney-care provider Fresenius Medical Care announced Thursday that they will team up in coordinated-care networks throughout the United States, the latest in a string of recent arrangements made with an eye toward value-based care.
“The ultimate goal is to move from volume-based care to value-based care,” said Heritage CEO Dr. Dick Merkin.
Heritage, a Marina del Rey, Calif.-based managed-care network, will acquire or build coordinated-care networks across the U.S. and employ Fresenius for renal, vascular and related services for covered members, according to a release. The companies will remain financially separate.
As in other recent deals, the two companies are partnering to move closer to a population health model focused on value-based contracting models with payers, as well as jointly sponsored research initiatives.
Leaders at both companies said they currently are not disclosing where the networks will be located. Heritage and its affiliates currently operate in Arizona, New York and California, while Fresenius has dialysis centers across the country.
Heritage signed a deal in January with Livonia, Mich.-based Trinity Health to create networks composed of primary-care physicians, hospitals, clinics and other providers to manage care for the different patient populations.
Non-ownership deals are proving attractive for healthcare organizations that want the shared savings and collaboration that can come with a merger but also want to remain autonomous and financially independent. Such affiliations can be particularly helpful in population health efforts. Last month, five systems in Maryland agreed to jointly invest in care-management infrastructure so that they can succeed under the state's value-based reimbursement system.
Common ownership isn't necessary to share savings and it can limit clinical collaboration by drawing companies too close together, said Ron Kuerbitz, CEO of Fresenius Medical Care North America.
“From Fresenius' perspective, the really important thing is that we align processes and we are clear about who is bringing what skills and assets into the mix, we're clear on how we're sharing the savings that we're gaining together and we're clear on our operating processes,” he said. “We don't need common ownership to accomplish that.”
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