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UnitedHealth gets deep into primary-care innovation

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David Chase, writing in Forbes’s online service under the headline “The Exchange Is Dead, Long Live the Exchange,”  says:

“Recently, headlines screamed about UnitedHealth threatening to leave the ACA exchanges. …United is losing hundreds of millions on the public exchanges. Meanwhile, virtually no one has noticed perhaps the smartest move I’ve seen any health insurer make—build a de novo value-based primary-care model from the ground up that is optimized for the consumer and small business market that the exchanges target.”

FierceHealthPayer reports that United’s wholly owned subsidiary, Harken Health, calls itself “a new kind of healthcare company that unites relationship-based primary care with flexible and competitively priced health insurance in a membership-based model” and  free primary-care visits at its clinics.

Mr. Chase points out that the venture is also a partnership with Iora Health, know for refusing to accept fee-for-service payments and  assigning patients health coaches to guide behavior.






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