McKesson joins Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona to form value-based services organization

April 28, 2016

McKesson announced it has partnered with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) to form a joint venture designed to deliver a broad range of services to help healthcare providers succeed in today’s value-based environment. The new company, ACO Partner, is a Maximum Services Organization, an innovative collaborative that will leverage McKesson’s physician engagement, care management, and population health services and technology. ACO Partner plans to contract with payers and provider groups nationwide to increase the overall quality of care through strong partnerships in pursuit of the triple aim of lowering costs, improving outcomes and enhancing overall patient experience.

ACO Partner’s central objective is to unify patients, providers and payers across the care continuum. Provider organizations will have access to a full spectrum of value-based services, including strategic management, analytics, physician engagement, network development, care coordination, care navigation and patient engagement. Participating providers will also have access to shared savings opportunities with partnering payers that will provide incentives for greater efficiencies and improvements in the quality of care.

The first payer to contract with ACO Partner is BCBSAZ, which has over 1.5 million covered lives in Arizona. BCBSAZ is also a primary investor in ACO Partner through their subsidiary, Trinnovate Ventures. McKesson and BCBSAZ have invested in the development of an infrastructure that will support strategic collaboration between payers and providers while enabling ongoing patient engagement.

Vishu J. Jhaveri, MD, senior vice president of Health Services and chief medical officer of BCBSAZ, said the company recognizes the importance of collaborating both with providers and other payers to achieve the triple aim.

“BCBSAZ is enthusiastic about working with McKesson on this innovative joint venture,” Jhaveri said. “We are fully committed to supporting an approach that benefits not only our patients but also other patients, providers and stakeholders across the care continuum.”

“McKesson’s proven track record of collaborating with multiple payers and providers, along with the resources they have developed to help these organizations succeed in the value-based environment, make this an ideal fit for BCBSAZ. We look forward to working closely with them to help make triple aim a reality.”

John Wallace, McKesson’s national vice president and general manager of accountable care services, and appointed president and COO of ACO Partner, said ACO Partner offers a systematic, scalable, payer-neutral solution that can assist physicians with the practical components of value-based care, including disease management, care management, population health management and patient engagement.

“ACO Partner will help benefit all healthcare stakeholders along the healthcare continuum,” Wallace said. “For physicians and health systems, McKesson’s services will help ease their burden as they become active participants in value-based care. For payers, ACO Partner will help support improved outcomes and cost efficiencies by educating patients about high-quality, lower cost care, and by improving coordination and collaboration between providers. Finally, for patients, the new entity is intended to strengthen outcomes while helping reduce out-of-pocket expenses.”

Pat Leonard, president of McKesson Business Performance Services, said ACO Partner will harness resources from across McKesson Corporation to provide comprehensive services and technology infrastructure designed to enable physicians and health systems to deliver value-based care to their BCBSAZ patient population. McKesson will provide analytics to support payers as they collaborate with provider networks to improve care quality, reduce unnecessary medical spend, manage population risk and support population health management.

“As the nation’s largest healthcare company, McKesson is fortunate to have an enormous pool of highly skilled individuals who have developed a very practical understanding of the tools and skills providers need today to be successful,” added Leonard. “We are excited about focusing these capabilities through ACO Partner and working with a company like BCBSAZ to make this powerful vision a reality.”