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Providers and Payers Make Good Bedfellows

Christopher Cheney, for HealthLeaders Media, February 26, 2014

In addition to acting on the realization that it would be "good to have the information others had on us," she said Sanford Health determined that there was an unmet need in the marketplace—many workers throughout the region had limited options for health insurance.

"We wanted to understand what the employees in our market wanted," Krystopolski said of the research her team conducted before launching the plan. "It was really to respond to the needs of the market and get the information."

The result has been the creation of a partnership between Sanford Health and Sanford Health Plan that aligns with the needs of patients. "We are able to co-manage," the health plan president said. "We have a shared responsibility for a patient… We know they belong to us from the day they enroll and we reach out to them."

Together They're Stronger
The coupling of a health system and a health plan can help providers be more responsive to patients. "Learning what [patients'] needs are has made us more thoughtful," Krystopolski told me.

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