CHARLOTTEPremier Inc., a healthcare improvement company, has formed a new organization that is focused on optimizing care through clinically led partnerships with large, national employers and their health plans.

The company, Contigo Health, is designed to be a clinically driven network of health systems collaborating with employers and their health plans to deliver the best care possible for their employees.

Charlotte-based Premier said Contigo Health plans to launch pilot programs with employers by partnering with health systems in select markets to eliminate unwarranted variation in care delivery.

“The goal is to avoid unnecessary invasive treatments and focus on delivering the most appropriate care to improve quality and reduce costs,” the firm said in its release.

A group of 35 leading health systems, representing more than 440 hospitals, have already signed letters of intent to participate in Contigo Health’s high-value network of providers.

Contigo Health is also working with several large national employer partners, which it expects to announce in the coming months.

“Premiums are rising 6 percent each year and employers are increasingly bearing a larger share of overall healthcare costs,” said Michael J. Alkire, President of Premier, in a statement.

“It’s imperative that healthcare providers lead the care decision-making process, and therefore they need closer relationships with the employers funding care. We designed Contigo Health to foster trusted relationships between clinicians, health systems and employers that are focused on achieving these common goals—while working within their existing benefit structure and health plans.”

Jonathan R. Slotkin, M.D., will serve as Contigo Health’s Chief Medical Officer to lead its clinical innovation, strategy and operations, while continuing to care for patients as a neurosurgeon at Geisinger. Dr. Slotkin has led patient-centered transformation initiatives with some of the largest employers in the U.S.

“Most employees have seen their insurance deductibles triple since 2008,” said Dr. Slotkin, in a statement. “That’s why I am passionate about bringing employers and health systems together. Contigo Health has a groundbreaking mission to increase access to high-quality care, improve employee productivity and advance the value of healthcare overall. Great, affordable care allows people to be engaged at work and as healthy, happy and productive as possible – it can also be an employee’s best benefit.”

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