CareFirst, MedStar launch multiyear value-based care partnership

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CareFirst and MedStar are partnering on value-based care. (Getty/PraewBlackWhile)

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and MedStar Health are teaming up to launch a value-based care initiative they say could save $400 million over the next seven years.

The value-based arrangement will be led by a team managed jointly by CareFirst and MedStar representatives, the two organizations said Wednesday. Goals include improving the patient experience, focusing on ways to better coordinate care, offering a more personalized approach and sharing data.

“We applaud MedStar for their leadership in joining with us to help solve one of the most complex problems in the United States economy—helping to reduce the rate of escalations in healthcare costs, which impact governments, employers and families,” said CareFirst President and CEO Brian Pieninck in a statement.

“As two not-for-profit healthcare companies spanning the same region and serving the same people, we have a shared responsibility to ensure members and employers are getting maximum value for their healthcare dollar. Through this unique partnership, we will help to transform the healthcare landscape to deliver on our shared missions to increase access to quality, affordable care," Pieninck said.

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In addition, the two partners hope the new arrangement can allow them to more effectively address healthcare disparities in the mid-Atlantic region. The need to enhance such work was underscored by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is having a disproportionate impact on communities of color and other vulnerable populations.

CareFirst and MedStar said they intend to harness their joint data capabilities to identify geographies that are underserved and scale up capacity as needed.

They also plan to work together to study and identify the most pressing health disparities that pose barriers to care and address them.

“Working together to remove barriers and solve challenges will provide our patients with more convenient access to manage their health and experience better outcomes, while helping to make care more affordable. This important new partnership will benefit the communities we already serve together," said Kenneth A. Samet, president and CEO of MedStar Health.