North Memorial Health Announces Joint Venture with Blue Cross
Days after one potential partnership broke off, another involving Robbinsdale-based North Memorial Health came through.
North Memorial Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota announced the creation of a joint venture to operate 20 existing primary and specialty care clinics in the Twin Cities. Blue Cross would own a 49 percent stake in the clinics. North Memorial Health would own 51 percent. The shared-ownership model is scheduled to launch in January.
The joint venture is the latest example of the increasing blurred lines between insurers and health care providers. Recent mergers and consolidations within the health care industry have not resulted in lower pricing or better service to consumers. This new joint venture aims to change that trend.
“Incremental change has been holding the healthcare industry back for too long. The industry is moving too slow, so we are taking bold action to create a transformative solution that is consumer friendly, improves the quality of care and delivers outcomes that are measurably better than others,” said Dr. J. Kevin Croston, chief executive of North Memorial Health.
The Blue Cross-North Memorial arrangement aims to lower care costs by 20 percent over five years. The model will focus on wellness, prevention and health outcomes, rather than consumption of services, a media release said.
Patients with other health insurance providers will still be able to get care at North Memorial clinics.
The announcement follows news that North Memorial Health recently broke off merger talks with Hennepin Healthcare, which operates HCMC in downtown Minneapolis.