Health insurer Aetna and 29-hospital system Texas Health Resources have tapped former Ascension Health executive Jeffrey Cook to head up their jointly owned health plan announced earlier this year.
Cook joins the joint venture from St. Louis-based Ascension, the nation's second-largest not-for-profit health system by revenue, where he served as national vice president of insurance and value based strategy and reimbursement, overseeing strategies for seven health plans, 20 accountable care organizations and 145 hospitals.
He has also held top leadership roles at Seton Healthcare Family, which is part of Ascension, and UnitedHealthcare in Central Texas.
Hartford, Conn.-based Aetna and Arlington-based THR announced a 50-50 joint health plan in May. Beginning Jan. 1, 2017, they will offer a narrow network product in nine counties around Dallas, where Aetna insures about 700,000 people. Under the partnership, Aetna will handle care management and claims, while THR will focus on delivering care and improving population health.
Aetna and Phoenix-based health system Banner Health hatched a similar joint venture in October. Aetna also owns a joint health plan with Inova, a health system based in Falls Church, Va.
Such ventures, which have become more common in recent years as providers look to take on more risk, work by driving patients to a narrow network of providers with the promise of better value and lower costs.