JPM 2022: Morgan Health, Kaiser Permanente partner on health equity

Beginning this month, JPMorgan Chase's some 8,000 California employees will be able to access care through Kaiser Permanente, and the partnership will put a focus on health disparities.

The two plan to jointly collect and report health equity metrics for those patients, Morgan Health executives said at the annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference this week. JPMorgan and Kaiser Permanente plan to roll out performance guarantees tied to health equity on certain quality measures for JPMorgan employees beginning in 2023.

Dan Mendelson, CEO of Morgan Health, said many employers are naming health equity as a key issue, but relationships like this are a rarity.

"You just don't see arrangements where employers are gearing up to contract for improvements in health equity," Mendelson told Fierce Healthcare. "That's where we're going. We would welcome other employers jumping in as well."

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Kaiser is a particularly attractive partner for an initiative like this, Mendelson said during a panel at the conference, because of the wealth of data the health system brings to the relationship. Morgan Health believes data to be critical to its goals in rethinking the healthcare system.

In addition to new agreements, Morgan Health is eyeing its next key markets, Mendelson said. The company has so far focused in areas where there are high concentrations of JPMorgan employees, such as Columbus, Ohio.

Markets on the horizon include Plano, Texas, and Wilmington, Delaware, which are both also home to significant numbers of JPMorgan workers. Mendelson said exploring these new markets—and models that may work there—is a key goal for 2022.

Mendelson also discussed the promise Morgan Health sees in its investment in Vera Whole Health, which is set to merge with Castlight Health in a $370 million deal. He said adding Castlight's digital capabilities will significantly enhance the accountable care model Morgan Health is focusing on.

Anthem, a backer of Castlight, will invest in the new company. Mendelson said the relationship with them is also a highly valuable asset in accelerating its accountable care approach.

"They're committed to this, and it's great to see that commitment," he said. "We're excited to bring them as a partner."