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Science, Health, Tech

ChristianaCare and Highmark Health tout new partnership as 'game-changer'

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Delaware’s largest health system and one of the largest health insurers in the region announced the start of a new joint venture company Wednesday. Leadership at ChristianaCare and Highmark Health are touting the new partnership as a “seismic shift” in health care.

Officials say the yet-to-be-named project will transform health care with radical new thinking around payment models and the use of data and technology to improve health outcomes and reduce the cost of care.

ChristianaCare President and CEO Dr. Janice Nevin says the project will start with ChristianaCare patients and will use technology like text messaging and telehealth to treat patients on a day-to-day basis.

“So people will get the right care, in the right place at the right time, provided by the right people,” said Nevin. “This is care that’s more efficient and therefore less costly. Care then becomes more affordable.”

Leadership from both entities say they expect the project will eventually be used as a national model.

“This work that we’re doing we fully believe it’s transportable, not just to Pittsburg or other markets that we’re in, but nationally,” said Highmark President Deborah Rice-Johnson. “Our vision is quite bold. It’s not just to create something that somebody in Delaware will experience. It’s much broader than that.” 

But officials do not have specific details related to the business side of the deal, except to say the new for-profit company is not a merger or exclusivity agreement between Highmark Health and ChristianaCare. It will be incorporated in Delaware and controlled by a governing board represented by each company.

“There are obviously a lot of different payment models out there in the insurance industry shared between payers and providers, but what works best will be something we kind of learn as we travel this path together,” said Highmark Health COO Karen Hanlon.      

This comes a few months after Highmark announced partnership with Google Cloud.

Recent data shows health care spending in Delaware continues to accelerate faster than the state’s economic growth. The first data from Delaware’s Healthcare Spending Benchmark shows spending per capita increased statewide by 7.8 percent in 2019—more than double the 3.8 percent goal.

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