HealthLeaders: What does this partnership mean for healthcare consumers in Wisconsin?
Thompson: I don't think most of that will change hardly at all, at least not right away. The earliest thing that will occur is the network will have a relationship with the [Anthem] Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Priority insurance product. But at no point did we say we are going to limit it to a single insurance product. It's not about insurance products. It's about trying to become better more quickly. So we believe that that will come first, but there will be more opportunities afterwards.
There will be an advantage for those employers who have employees spread across the parts of five states that these organizations cover. And the state of Wisconsin could be served by this group as well.
HealthLeaders: Will this partnership facilitate other collaborations?
Thompson: That is a potential. We all recognize that. But we believe that right now, as things are changing rapidly, as the opportunities are there, our focus is best left on making care more reliable and bending the cost curve down. If we as a group can work together on that, then those other things will either happen or not.
Whether we are part of a big organization or not is less important to our communities. What is important to our communities is that the care be even more reliable and the cost of the care becomes less.