Centene and Ascension join forces to establish an exceptional Medicare Advantage plan
Fortune 100, multi-national healthcare company Centene Corporation has partnered with the US’ largest Catholic and non-profit health system, Ascension, in order to explore a joint venture to establish a leading Medicare Advantage (MA) plan.
Signing a letter of intent, the MA plan would be established as a preferred model for the respective systems and affiliates for Centene and Ascension in multiple geographic markets beginning in 2020.
"We are pleased to pursue this joint venture with Ascension to create a differentiating offering for Medicare Advantage across multiple markets," said Michael F. Neidorff, Chairman and CEO of Centene.
"This joint venture will bring together two leaders with decades of experience across markets and creates an opportunity for scaled payer-provider collaboration. We share a commitment of serving the underserved and intend to leverage the best capabilities of both organisations to provide high quality, affordable healthcare to support the needs of low-income seniors."
"Working with Centene to create a new Medicare Advantage plan aligns with our mission of serving those who are vulnerable and struggling the most, which all too often includes our seniors," noted Anthony R. Tersigni, EdD, FACHE, President and CEO of Ascension.
"We look forward to developing innovative, transformational approaches to serve this growing population in the many communities we serve as part of our advanced strategic direction."
The letter of intent signed by Centene and Ascension is non-binding and the joint venture is subject to due diligence, the negotiation of definitive terms and approval by each company's board of directors, among other conditions.
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Providing over $1.8bn in care of persons living in poverty and other community benefit programmes in FY2017, Ascension houses approximately 165,000 associates and 34,000 aligned providers. Its Healthcare Division operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 153 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across 22 states, providing ample advantage for Centene Corporation to up against other leading health insurers.
The company acquired Community Medical Group earlier this year as well as Fidelis Care for $3.75bn, highlighting its ambition to retain its position on the competitive healthcare market, going up against payers such as Humana and health juggernaut UnitedHealthcare.
Additionally, Ascension has recently appointed Motorola figurehead Eduardo Conrado into a new Chief Digital Officer position, which will enable the business to further improve standard operating procedures by embracing digitisation.
“Eduardo is a results-driven global technology executive with extensive experience in successfully and creatively defining and launching critical digital innovation programs in commercial and consumer segments,” stated Tersigni.
“As our industry and our ministry rapidly transform, new technologies and companies are disrupting the market at an ever-faster pace, and leaders are beginning to fully embrace digital solutions to unlock innovation and drive productivity, connectivity and engagement.
“As Chief Digital Officer, Eduardo will help accelerate the implementation of digital initiatives across both elements of our Dual Transformation – transforming the core of our healthcare operations to optimise resilience while also creating new, transformational models that extend our reach and allow our Mission to thrive into the future.”
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”