McKesson Corp. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona have created a joint venture to deliver a range of services and technologies to providers joining accountable care organizations, and they’re looking for other insurers to participate in the initiative. The founding partners are developing ACO Partner, a service to support collaboration between payers and providers that includes administrative outsourcing services, strategic management analytics, network development, care coordination, disease management, population health management, and patient and physician engagement.

Providers entering such ACO partnerships will share savings with payers. “For payers, ACO Partner will help support improved outcomes and cost efficiencies by educating patients about high-quality, lower-cost care, and by improving coordination and collaboration between providers,” says John Wallace, national vice president and general manager of accountable care services at McKesson. “For patients, the new entity is intended to strengthen outcomes while helping reduce out-of-pocket expenses.” McKesson will serve as a service organization, initially providing to BCBSAZ, and later to other insurers, a software platform to support care coordination, provider engagement, risk stratification and management, and historical and predictive data analytics. Electronic health record and practice management systems also are available. The Arizona Blues plan will offer this platform to its ACO providers with no upfront costs, says Vishu Jhaveri, MD, senior vice president of health services and chief medical officer at BCBSAZ. “By increasing care quality and leveraging cost of care efficiencies through the services of ACO Partner, what we provide will offset the venture’s expenses as well as create shared savings for our contracted providers.” The Blues plan spent more than a year evaluating vendor partnerships before selecting McKesson, according to Jhaveri. “We’ve known and done business with McKesson for many years on other strategies and simply trust not only their capabilities, but their leadership commitment to the value-based healthcare movement long term.” ��

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