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Joint Ventures Coming Soon?

For those who haven’t heard about it, we’d like to draw your attention to SB 56 (Alquist). SB 56 would authorize local initiative health plans (LIs), county organized health care systems (COHS), and county medical service programs (CMSPs) to enter into joint ventures to offer coordinated health plans to the individual and group markets.

These joint ventures may consist of:
• A contractual relationship that facilitates risk spreading and/or network sharing; or
• A contractual relationship that provides for the joint offering or marketing of health plans to individuals and groups.

In forming joint ventures, the participating health plans will be required to contract with designated public hospitals, county health clinics, primary care clinics (previously known as community health centers), and other traditional safety net providers.

State Senator Elaine Alquist, the bill’s author and chair of the Senate Health Committee, believes that joint ventures involving LIs, COHS, and CMSPs may be promising means of providing affordable coverage in many regions of the state.

In this time when many are looking to expand opportunities for coverage, integrate care and delivery systems, and work to bend the health care cost curve, joint ventures may be one piece of the puzzle.

The bill is currently located in the Assembly Appropriations Committee, awaiting a vote this Thursday, August 12th. It is a majority-vote bill.

Stay tuned for further updates!