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Anthem to Compete in HMO Market

Anthem Blue Cross announced a joint venture with hospitals to offer employers a new health maintenance organization in the Southern California market. Anthem, based in Thousand Oaks, will join with seven hospital systems, their affiliated clinics and doctor groups to provide health care. The plan, called Vivity, includes UCLA Health System, which has clinics in the greater Valley region. Members of Vivity will have a co-pay for care, but they won’t have to worry about deductibles or medical bills. “This innovative venture will create a foundation to significantly advance the medical delivery system, simplifying the care experience and creating a structure with aligned incentives to eliminate waste and redundancy,” Pam Kehaly, west region president for Anthem Blue Cross, said in a statement. The system will compete with Kaiser Permanente, the dominant HMO in the California market. CalPERS, the state public employees union and the second-largest purchaser of health benefits in the country, has signed on to use Vivity. Coverage begins Jan. 1. “Vivity will create economies of scale, allowing us to provide the highest quality and affordable health care to thousands of Californians,” Dr. David Feinberg, president of the UCLA Health System, said in a statement. Anthem is a unit of WellPoint Inc. in Indianapolis.

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.

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