Lines Redrawn in Battle for Primary Relationships with Patients

Clinical staff and patient shaking hands across a tableWith market disruptors like CVS Health, Walmart, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Amazon and others establishing deeper relationships with health care consumers, many hospitals and health systems are reshaping their competitive strategies. Increasingly, providers are exploring partnerships with best-in-class hospitals as they hone their own service lines in areas where they excel. Some are also looking to direct contracting with major employers as a strategy to improve value, access, quality and cost management. And some are working with technology companies or partnering with payers on developing predictive analytics.

A recent HFMA report highlights these trends and examines some of the unique partnerships, including Henry Ford Health System’s direct-to-employer contract with General Motors to deliver health care management and wellness services to GM employees and their families throughout southeastern Michigan. Hartford HealthCare in Connecticut, meanwhile, is nearly two years into a seven-year partnership with GE Healthcare on an analytics initiative that has helped optimize utilization and staffing at its seven hospitals.

Wilmington, Del.-based Christiana Care Health System’s partnership with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation helped the provider obtain a $10 million grant to develop a predictive analytics system called Carelink CareNow. It helps identify patients at risk for steep health declines due to untreated depression or severe loneliness. Alerts from the system prompt a multidisciplinary clinical team to reach out to patients.

Efforts like these can help maintain strong and direct patient bonds — something the disruptors are clearly trying to establish based on their evolving strategies and business plans.

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