Under his leadership, the
But what could be Klasko's most ambitious, and possibly the riskiest, move -- for
If the transaction, which has an undisclosed price tag, gets the green light, it could reshape competition in the
The big question, local health-care experts say, is whether Klasko will extend the reach of
Hospitals' owning of insurance providers could mean healthier patients and lower health-care costs, according to advocates for the model. But there can be downsides. A similar experiment in
Klasko, however, believes that health care could benefit from having more hospitals align with an insurer that offers a full range of health insurance, as he recently told HealthLeaders, a trade journal.
But academics say there is no large-scale evidence that the arrangement results in higher quality of care at a lower cost.
Once it has full ownership of
"That may not necessarily occur, but it's a real possibility and certainly something about which
"It is my hope that our health-care institutions continue to be highly competitive yet willing to collaborate wherever necessary to benefit the health and well-being of the millions of people we serve in this region," Hilferty said in an email. "In this particular instance, it remains to be seen how we are going to be able to collaborate with anyone who is in direct competition with us as an insurer."
Under one scenario, the health-care market could split between
That could mean a
That might not go over well with the public, an expert said.
"People seem to want choice. They don't want to be in just one system," said
Everything hinges on
The nonprofit sold its Medicare Advantage business in 2007 when it managed benefits for 21,000. It went back into that market in 2014, but as of December had just 15,780 Medicare members. A bid to expand into
More bad news came in 2016, when
Such setbacks may have contributed to a board decision a few years ago to explore a sale of
During the same interview,
A final sale agreement would have to come with a long-term contract between Temple and
A wild card is how long
It's not always pretty when hospital owners start selling health insurance, in part because health insurance and health care are very different businesses, experts said.
Among the best-known and widely praised health systems with a health insurance arm are two
In May, Fitch Ratings said UPMC's growing health insurance plans played a key role in "solidifying market share at the expense of UPMC's main competitor." That is
Although bond analysts see advantages to having an insurer and a provider under on roof, academics say the benefits are not clear.
"It's an unanswered empirical question as to whether or not there's value in an insurer aligning with a delivery system, a health-care provider," said
"There is a lot of rhetoric about health-care markets and the impact of health-care policy that is not supported by data," Scanlon said.
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