For Your Benefit

Big Companies Pool Big Data in New Health Alliance

Photo credit: lucky_sun, https://www.flickr.com/photos/75279887@N05/6914441342/

Another group of large employers is banding together to tackle rising health care costs.

This one is composed of 20 of the largest U.S. employers, including American Express Co., Caterpillar Inc. and IBM Corp.

The Health Transformation Alliance was formed earlier this year joining groups like the National Business Group on Health, the National Business Coalition on Health and a multitude of regional business and employer groups working to improve employee health care.

The alliance, which was founded by the American Health Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., will focus on eliminating inefficiencies in the supply chain by using data collected from 4 million covered lives.

“The initiative focuses on reforms to the supply chain that are designed to reduce redundancies and waste, all of which drive up the cost of health care coverage,” said Tevi Troy, CEO of the American Health Policy Institute. “By coming together to share expertise, the companies seek to make the current multilayered supply chain more efficient.”

The group, which spends more than $14 billion collectively on health care for employees, their dependents and retirees will use the data to propose more effective strategies. Troy, a former deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said that the alliance’s financial resources and the amount of health care data it can access distinguishes it from other business groups with similar aims.

“The American health care delivery system is a patchwork of complicated, expensive and wasteful systems,” said Marc Reed, the chief administrative officer of Verizon in a news release. “We’ve done what we can as individual companies. By joining together, we can do more. We need to stop applying bandages to the system and address what’s fundamentally wrong.”

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