- Primary care providers Indianapolis-based Marathon Health and Denver-based Everside Health completed their merger on Thursday, and will operate as Marathon Health.
- The Marathon executive team — CEO Jeff Wells and executive chairman Ben Evans — will stay intact post-merger, while Everside Health CEO Chris Miller will depart the company, according to a company spokesperson. Marathon declined to disclose financial details of the deal.
- The new Marathon Health will have a physical presence in 41 states at 680 health centers and provide virtual healthcare in all 50 states.
The companies will fully integrate within the year, according to the announcement.
“With projected annual healthcare costs for a family of four soaring to over $31,000 in 2023, much-needed primary, occupational and mental health care services are out of reach for most Americans," Wells said in a release.
Marathon projects its merger with Everside will help it lower healthcare costs for employer and union sponsored plans by more than 25%, according to the release.
Across the country, primary care operations are increasingly consolidating as in a bid toward operational efficiency. Providers cite declining Medicare payments, increased time spent negotiating payment with insurers and staffing shortages as motivators to consolidate.
Primary care deals may include mergers with other providers, health systems, private equity firms, payers and retailers who want a piece of the industry’s almost $300 billion in annual revenue, as of 2023.
When primary care providers are associated with large health systems, the ill effects can be pronounced, according to a September study from JAMA. The study found patients were “steered” from primary care providers toward more expensive specialists, increasing costs without evidence of better health outcomes.