By Bruce Jugan
September 29, 2021
Last night I attended a broker dinner with executives from Anthem Blue Cross where they announced that Vivity health plans, a collaboration with major Southern California hospitals, doctor groups and the insurance company, will be available to small employers (1-100 employees) in Los Angeles and Orange Counties beginning January 1, 2022.
As Yogi Berra said, “this is déjà vu all over again.” In October 2014, I reported on the original introduction of Vivity to the large group market in this blog post. In that blog post I couldn’t contain my enthusiasm for the idea of an insurance company and medical providers collaborating. I hoped that the effort would result in higher quality care at a lower cost to the consumer. That is still my hope however, I am a bit less enthusiastic than I was seven years ago.
According to Anthem, Vivity involves data and risk sharing between the insurance company and the medical providers, and more surprisingly, between the medical systems themselves. In the odd world of health care, major hospital systems “compete” for patients via doctor referrals. So, these hospital systems are normally adversaries and here they share and collaborate.
Some of the best known and most highly regarded hospital systems will participate in Vivity, including:
- Good Samaritan Hospital
- Huntington Memorial Hospital
- MemorialCare Health System
- PIH Health
- Torrance Memorial Medical Center
- UCLA Health
New to the list from seven years ago, is Providence Health System, which has an impressive list of hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange County including St. Joseph in Burbank and Orange, St John in Santa Monica, Little Company of Mary in Torrance and San Pedro, St. Jude in Fullerton and Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach and Mission Viejo.
Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield of California’s Trio are other examples of collaboration between insurance companies and medical providers. Both offer relatively low-cost medical insurance to employers. Let’s hope that Vivity can compete and offer low-cost coverage. If you’d like to learn more, or get a quote for a Vivity plan, please give us a call at 800-746-0045.