Companies look to eliminate the payer 'middle-man,' partner directly with ACOs

Insurers be warned: Many corporate executives are mulling whether they can provide their employees with higher-quality and more cost-effective healthcare without going through an insurance company, writes Wendell Potter, a senior analyst at The Center for Public Integrity and former head of corporate communications at Cigna.

This past summer, for example, Seattle-based Boeing decided to cancel its service with its insurer and instead contracted directly with two of the Northwest's largest hospital systems, Potter writes in his Op-Ed for CT News Junkie.

Boeing is just one example of companies that are making a gradual transition to alternate forms of payment models.

"I do believe that the health insurance companies that we all love to hate are going away, former White House healthcare adviser Ezekiel Emanuel said earlier this year. "I think this is the wave of the future." 

Many companies view accountable care organizations as a way to eliminate the middle man.

So exactly what does the future hold for insurers?

Because ACOs are still in the early stages, many payers are crafting and experimenting with their own models in order to find success. Humana, for example, is taking a gradual method to establish slow and steady growth. The insurer recognized the need to marry provider's clinical expertise with Humana's business views to drive integrated care, Humana Chief Medical Officer Roy Beveridge, M.D., previously told FierceHealthPayer.

For more:
- read the Op-Ed