- Medica has announced a new narrow network plan in the Rochester, MN area that relies entirely on Mayo Clinic Health System providers. Called "Medica With Mayo Clinic," the plan "allows a single care system to be accountable for your health and wellness, and better coordinate all the services that you're receiving," according to Medica. Notably, Mayo Clinic in Rochester is not part of the network.
- Insurers have long blamed Mayo's high prices for elevated premiums in the Rochester area. According to Medica, the close partnership with Mayo will allow the company to charge less for the new product. "Premiums long have been higher in the Rochester area, and that's really been driven by the providers in that area," said Medica senior vice president Dannette Coleman.
- Medica did not disclose if Mayo was providing discounts on the cost of care to the insurer. The new product will be available both on the state exchange MNSure as well as on the private market.
According to Dr. Brian Whited, vice chair of operations for the Mayo Clinic, this partnership is "one of the first times" that the system has participated in a narrow network plan. Whited points out, however, that because Mayo offers the full spectrum of care and because of its local market dominance, the practical impact is likely to be small.
Still, it's worth looking at the cost of care at the Mayo Clinic. According to data from Minneapolis-based nonprofit Minnesota Community Measurement, Mayo receiving $1,311 for a colonoscopy in 2012, while the statewide median at the time was $563. The jury is still out on the impact of narrow networks on health spending, but this should be a dramatic case study one way or the other.