- St. Luke’s University Health Network and Geisinger Health System are partnering to curb rising health costs.
- Under the agreement, announced Wednesday, St. Luke’s six hospitals and more than 270 medical sites will become clinical partners with Geisinger’s 12 hospital campuses and 350 sites under the Geisinger Health Plan.
- The aim is to lower premiums and improve access to affordable, high quality care at a time when most rates are rising.
“We’re introducing another level of competition in healthcare insurance, in healthcare collaboration, in healthcare cooperation,” Lehighvalleylive.com quoted St. Luke’s CEO Richard Anderson at a press conference announcing the deal.
The two health systems say they will share knowledge and experience around population health and value-based payment models. They also plan to introduce a Medicare Advantage plan and other new plans for commercial and employer groups in the region, which comprises nearly 50 eastern Pennsylvania counties.
St. Luke’s employees and their dependents will also become members of Geisinger Health Plan, generating $500,000 in yearly savings for the Bethlehem, PA-based system.
The agreement takes effect Jan. 1, pending approval by the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission.
The announcement comes as major insurers like Aetna, Humana, and UnitedHealth are pulling out of the ACA exchange markets over continuous losses, leaving people fewer choices for health coverage. In the face of rising premiums, some consumers are opting for less-comprehensive plans with lower monthly premiums.