National insurer Anthem on Wednesday said it is buying non-hospice palliative-care provider Aspire Health.
The agreement marks another in a slew of deals that see insurers stepping into the provider space in hopes of reducing costs by shifting patient care away from hospitals and other expensive settings.
Anthem said it is acquiring Nashville-based Aspire to further its ability to offer integrated care and improve outcomes while reducing health costs. The financial terms of the deal, which the companies expect to close in the third quarter of 2018, weren't disclosed.
"Aspire Health shares our perspective on the increasingly important role of integrated care and has built a unique model that provides palliative care and support services for patients and their families," Anthem CEO Gail Boudreaux said in the announcement.
Aspire, which contracts with more than 20 health plans and serves customers in 25 states, joins Anthem's other provider assets, including primary care provider CareMore Health and care management company AIM Specialty Health.
Aspire supports seriously ill patients by assigning them a care team of physicians, nurses, social workers and chaplains to coordinate care with medical professionals and address symptoms, patient-family communication and advance care planning. It emphasizes providing care in the home. An Anthem spokeswoman said Aspire employs about 700 people, including physicians, other clinicians and non-clinical workers.
"Several studies have repeatedly demonstrated how advanced illness programs can provide high patient and family satisfaction, reduce hospitalization and decrease costs," Aspire CEO Brad Smith said. "As part of Anthem, we believe we will be able to further scale our model and positively impact the lives of even more consumers and families, making home-based advanced illness care available to patients who need it."
Aspire was founded in 2013 by Smith and former U.S. Senator William Frist. Aspire has raised $53.5 million in venture capital. Its latest funding round in 2016 was led by a Google's investment arm, which invested $32 million in the company.