Health care is changing in more ways than you can count. One particular change is the centralization of ownership and management of the health care supply chain. This change will transform the traditional roles of payers and providers.
This vertical integration encourages voluntary cooperation among payers and providers to achieve the mutual benefits of lower cost, improved service quality, and more effective health management.
Vertically integrated health care is evident in a number of emerging delivery models, such as integrated health systems, patient-centered medical homes, and accountable-care organizations (ACOs). These new delivery models all assume greater financial risk for the costs of health care, so payers are considering reconfiguring some of their functions to support the goals of vertically integrated health care.