Sutter Health and Aetna selected Jeb Dunkelberger to lead their health plan joint venture, the organizations announced Wednesday.
Dunkelberger, who led national sales and strategy for healthcare automation company Notable Health and has experience in the insurance industry, is tasked with coordinating the joint venture's expansion with employers across 16 Northern California counties. He replaced Steve Wigginton, who led the company through its first two-plus years.
"Jeb has an extensive depth and breadth of experience in the healthcare sector, and a proven record of success developing innovative partnerships among providers, payers and health management," Kristen Miranda, Aetna California market president and head of its west region, said in prepared remarks.
Hartford, Conn.-based insurer Aetna, which has since merged with CVS Health, and Sutter, a 24-hospital not-for-profit system based in Sacramento, Calif., formed a 50-50 joint venture in 2017 to launch a health plan designed to lower healthcare costs for self-insured employers and their employees.
The company follows the lead of other insurer-provider partnerships that aim to combine insurer and provider data to better coordinate care. Aetna has formed similar relationships with Allina Health, Texas Health Resources, Inova Health System and Banner Health.
In these partnerships, health plans provide incentives to keep patients within the health system's narrow network of hospitals and doctors that are expected to deliver better quality care at lower costs. Otherwise, patients will have to pay for most or all of their care out of pocket if they receive care outside the network.