Twenty national employers recently announced they have joined together to form the Health Transformation Alliance. The aim is to pool their data and market power to better control health care costs.

This will sound familiar to our members and business partners. It was for this same reason that seven employers came together over 25 years ago to form The Alliance.

I’m encouraged that national employers are pursuing this same strategy, and we personally know the team that is providing technical assistance to help this get off the ground. We share the same interests – better health and health care value. And we also recognize the importance of the role we, as purchasers, must play.

A quote in the Wall Street Journal article that announced the national group’s formation captures that shared philosophy:

Nobody is going to solve this for us, and no single company can really make a sustainable difference in the health-care supply chain.
–Kevin Cox, chief human resources officer, American Express

Amen.

What’s more, the overwhelming majority of clinicians that deliver care share our same goals and frustrations (plus some of their own). They want to be part of a reliable delivery system that enables them to provide great care to patients at an affordable cost. We can work with this!

Our advice to the Health Transformation Alliance? This is a team sport. Creating the magnitude of change needed in health care can’t be accomplished solely from the national level. It requires a solid ground game, given the local nature of health care.

The National Business Coalition on Health, a “coalition of coalitions” to which The Alliance belongs, is a great place to start. Forging partnerships with clinicians and health systems that share our commitment to better health and health care value is also imperative – and also best done in local markets.

We look forward to having a new partner in this effort to make a sustainable difference in health care.

Cheryl DeMars

Cheryl DeMars

President & CEO at The Alliance
Cheryl DeMars joined The Alliance in 1992, assuming several roles before becoming CEO in December 2006. Cheryl works with the Board of Directors and senior leadership team to establish the strategic direction of the cooperative.

Cheryl participates in a number of national and regional initiatives that align with The Alliance’s mission of controlling costs, improving quality and engaging individuals in their health. She is a board member and former chair of the National Business Coalition on Health. She serves on the Advisory Board of the Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the board of the Wisconsin Collaborative for Healthcare Quality.

Prior to joining The Alliance, Cheryl was a program manager at Meriter Hospital in Madison. She earned a master's degree in social work from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Read blog posts by Cheryl.
Cheryl DeMars

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