BlueCross, MissionPoint partnering

ACO, insurer to team up starting next January

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and the MissionPoint Health Partners accountable care organization on Tuesday announced a four-year partnership that will take effect at the beginning of 2014.

Financial terms of the deal, announced this morning before a crowd of about 100 attendees who gathered at downtown's Bridge Building, are not being disclosed.

The two major organizations — MissionPoint was launched in 2011 by Saint Thomas Health Services and is also backed by numerous physician groups, Cisco and the YMCA of Middle Tennessee, among others — will work together to improve the health of their customers while also cutting health care costs and improving patient experiences.

"This is truly a partnership of strength in Nashville," said J.D. Hickey, executive vice president and COO of BlueCross.

Mike Schatzlein, Saint Thomas Health president and CEO, said the partnership was almost a year in the making.

"We knew we would need a distribution channel," he said following the announcement.

The partnership is believed to be the largest of its type in the state.

MissionPoint, which is run by President and CEO Jason Dinger, launched operations a year ago with a network of more than 1,000 doctors and was certified by regulators as an ACO last summer. Using technology and remote care, among others, the nonprofit venture — which has grown to about 1,500 physicians and 50,000 members — wants to more tightly link the region's doctors, nurses and hospitals.