Premier launches Contigo Health to improve healthcare, lower costs

Healthcare improvement company Premier is spinning off Contigo Health, which will focus on improving health and reducing costs for employers and their employees.

Powered by Premier’s member network, data and technology, Contigo Health will focus on increasing engagement with employer health and wellness programs in the clinical setting. This will include empowering providers with information on an employers’ existing ancillary benefits during the patient encounter, to ensure that patients are aware of all the resources available to them, Premier says.

Nearly half of all Americans receive health insurance through an employer, and the cost to insure a single employee is estimated at $15,000, according to Premier. As a result, employers have been working hard to find ways to increase employee interest in staying healthy.

“Premiums are rising 6 percent each year, and employers are increasingly bearing a larger share of overall healthcare costs,” says Michael Alkire, president of Premier. “It’s imperative that healthcare providers lead the care decision-making process, and therefore they need closer relationships with the employers funding care.”

The new company will foster relationships between clinicians and health systems within the context of existing benefit structure and health plans.

Contigo Health will start by launching some pilots in “select markets,” Premier says. The goal is to avoid unnecessary invasive treatments and focus on delivering the most appropriate care to improve quality and reduce costs.

Some 35 health systems, representing more than 440 hospitals, have already signed up to participate in Contigo Health’s network, according to Premier. Contigo Health is also working with several large national employer partners, which it expects to announce in the coming months.

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Jonathan Slotkin, MD

“Most employees have seen their insurance deductibles triple since 2008,” says Geisinger neurosurgeon Jonathan Slotkin, MD, who will serve as Contigo Health’s chief medical officer. “That’s why I am passionate about bringing employers and health systems together. Contigo Health has a groundbreaking mission to increase access to high-quality care, improve employee productivity and advance the value of healthcare overall.”

Contigo Health will make use of an EMR-integrated, proprietary clinical decision support system and intelligent clinical workflow technology. This will make it easy for clinicians to embed clinical programs into their care process that simultaneously meet patient/employee needs, Premier says.

Steven Nelson, president of Contigo Health says he believes there is a lot of opportunity for health systems and employers to innovate together, in harmony with their health plans. “We are committed to creating this space to give people access to the highest-quality, highest-value care that is most appropriate for their needs,” he says. “Contigo Health is a nimble company that is strengthened by Premier’s network of high-value hospitals and health systems, years of expertise and industry relationships, as well as its leading data, analytics and technology.”

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