AHIP's Karen Ignagni stresses benefits of health plan-provider partnerships

"The story is all about partnership," America's Health Insurance Plans President and CEO Karen Ignagni told those attending the National Forum on Hospitals, Health Systems and Population Health in the District of Columbia this week.

Ignagni said providers, health plans and consumers must work together for an affordable and sustainable healthcare system, according to an AHIP Coverage article, which includes a full transcript of her address.

Health plans, though their population health initiatives, have made strides in quality and price and to provide clinicians and consumers with information they need to make healthcare more affordable.

"So when we talk about new payment designs, whether we're talking medical homes or whether we're negotiating new payment arrangements with all of you in the provider community, we're only talking about half the story," she said.

"The other half is how do you create a benefit structure that rewards value from a provider prospective and all of you hitting quality markers and measures and how does it reward you for actually collaborating with us to actually getting prices under control? Not for one year but over the longer term?"

Ignagni said the industry must think about how to encourage consumers to make value-based choices and what kind of information consumers need to make those choices. "And what can we do together? That's the exciting thing that I see all across the country," she said.

Ignagni also announced a new, interactive guide to help consumers understand health plans' provider networks. 

Next steps, she said, include interoperability, transparency, improved evidence and performance measurement alignment.

"So if you're in a health system, and you're serving Medicare, you're serving Medicaid, you're serving the exchange population or you're serving private-sector employers, how can we be rowing the boat in the same direction as opposed to 50 different standards? That's got to be a major priority, " she said.

A recent study found that when patients have price information about laboratory tests, advanced imaging services and clinician office visits before seeking healthcare services, insurers' claims payments are lower.

Healthcare investment firm Psilos Group recently warned of a wave of consumerism, and urged insurers to completely rebuild their insurance products to appeal directly to individuals instead of employers.

To learn more:
- read the article
- find the network guide