Blues plans team up to back new pharmacy solutions company Evio

Five Blues plans are teaming up to invest in a new pharmacy solutions venture called Evio.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Highmark Health and Independence Blue Cross are backing Evio, according to an announcement released Tuesday.

The new company aims to establish outcomes-based arrangements with drugmakers, especially for high-cost therapies. In addition, Evio aims to collect and provide real-world evidence for medications to ensure the right product is getting to the right patient.

Evio will initially focus on providing these services to five founding health plans, according to the announcement. The plans collectively cover more than 20 million members nationwide.

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"Evio has a real opportunity to change the trajectory of pharmacy costs, improve clinical outcomes and make it easier for patients to access the medications and treatments they need," said Sandra Clarke, Evio board chair and chief financial officer of Blue Shield California, in a statement.

"We are investing in this innovative venture as part of our ongoing efforts to reduce costs and improve patient experience, and we will continue working alongside our local providers to achieve these goals," Clarke said.

Evio also intends to find new partnerships and enhance existing arrangements to address the affordability of medications and improve the patient experience. In working directly with its founding health plans, Evio said it will integrate these efforts with programs they've already put in place.

Healthcare industry veteran Hank Schlissberg has been tapped to serve as Evio's CEO. Schlissberg brings 20 years of experience in strategy, operations and growth to the company, according to the announcement.

"I'm thrilled to bring my health care experience, both professionally and with my family as a long-time specialty pharmacy user, to help lead this venture," said Schlissberg in a statement. "We must innovate and begin to transform the pharmacy system."