News & Commentary

Anthem launches innovative collaboration with Wharton and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics to develop and pilot new health care approaches

October 23, 2017
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Together, Anthem and its outcomes-research subsidiary, HealthCore Inc., the Wharton School and the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics have announced a collaboration to study and pilot new ideas with the aim of translating research into real health care solutions that improve health care quality, accessibility and affordability for consumers.

What’s New Here?

This collaboration between the private sector and academia is seldom seen in health care, but is important and needed.  Specifically, by working with Anthem, researchers will have access to a robust, real-world data set to power their studies, and be able to pilot and ultimately launch effective and high-impact programs.

The partnership is also unique in its focus on behavioral economics as a significant driver for health care research. Behavioral economics studies the effects of psychological, social, cognitive and emotional factors on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions, as well as the consequences for market prices, returns and resource allocation.

The Projects

Together, the partners will undertake a number of studies focusing on the business and economics of health insurance and health care delivery as they affect markets, organizations and individuals.

The partner organizations plan to explore a number of topics through their research, including:

  • Health care quality improvement
  • Payment reform
  • Consumer engagement
  • Real-world, evidence-based treatments
  • Application of behavioral economics

One promising project takes a closer look at primary care and the related shift from volume- to value-based care. The project will examine high-quality primary care delivery and how primary care issues can be resolved before they even occur.

Another project from this collaboration studies the “medical home” model. Medical homes—also known as patient-centered medical care—are care delivery models that give comprehensive and continuous medical care to patients in order to obtain the best health outcomes. Anthem’s affiliated health plans fund practices that participate in medical home projects, and Anthem will work with its collaborators to better understand how practices use these funds to augment their staff or their technology, and how those decisions drive efficiency and improved health care outcomes.

The Impact

This collaboration marks a new era in health care research and innovation. Through it, Anthem intends to demonstrate that the role of the health care payer can and should expand beyond paying the bills and negotiating payments. Payers must – and are – instead taking an active role in determining solutions to the most pressing health care challenges of the day.

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