Consumer / Employer, Payers

HealthPartners Exec: The 5 Rules To Scale Value-Based Care in the Commercial Market

The commercial market has struggled to adopt value-based care, but HealthPartners has had some success, according to Mark Hansberry, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of the company. During a conference, he shared five rules for scaling value-based care, including creating trust and providing real-time data.


The commercial market has been slower to adopt value-based care than the public market, but there are ways to move the process along successfully, executives said Monday.

During a panel at the Oliver Wyman Health Innovation Summit 2023 held in Chicago, healthcare leaders discussed the challenges and opportunities in advancing value-based care in commercial health plans. The panelists were Mark Hansberry, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of HealthPartners; Ellen Kelsay, president and CEO of Business Group on Health; and Tiffany Albert, senior vice president of health plan business at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Bloomington, Minnesota-based HealthPartners, which is an integrated healthcare organization serving more than 1.8 million members, has had some success with value-based care in the commercial space, Hansberry claimed. He shared five rules for scaling value-based care in the commercial market:

1. Payers and providers in a value-based arrangement need to have a shared understanding of what value is for patients, Hansberry said.

“You have to have a universal definition of what value means so that when clinicians look at you as a payer … they need to acknowledge that what you’re saying a clinical outcome is is actually a good clinical outcome, a good measure of performance,” he stated.

2. It’s important to ensure that the providers in the value-based arrangement are able to and willing to take the risk associated with value-based care.

“Most care systems weren’t built to actually manage risk,” Hansberry said. “That wasn’t their job. Their job was to take care of sick people. Now we’re asking them to do something else. How do you actually support those individuals on that journey?”

3. Payers need to support providers engaging in value-based care with “real-time, actionable data and consultation,” Hansberry said.

“It’s not just a data dump or a big Excel file that you pass over and you say good luck with it,” he stated. “Because, by the way, if they perform well in those value-based contracts, you do too as a payer. You want them to perform well. So you want to provide them with good, insightful, actionable data that’s risk-adjusted, that is connected to their practice — not just an amorphous health system — but to their practice so they can take action on those insights. But then you also want to supplement that with that consultation along the way.”

4. The incentives in the value-based contract must be aligned to “enable that [provider] to reap the benefits of the value that they’re creating for those members,” according to Hansberry.

5. Ultimately, a value-based contract comes down to trust between all the parties. But Hansberry noted that this is easier for HealthPartners as an integrated health system.

“We’re fortunate because we’re both a health plan and a care system,” he said.

He added that success in value-based care doesn’t happen overnight, which is partially why it’s difficult to scale.

“It takes time to build trust,” Hansberry stated.

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