GM enters direct contract with Henry Ford Health System for employee health benefits

Henry Ford Health System announced its first ever direct-to-employer healthcare contract in a deal with General Motors to deliver healthcare management and wellness services to the car giant's Michigan employees and their families starting in 2019. 

The new “ConnectedCare” plan will give employees access to more than 3,000 providers from a network of primary care and specialty care doctors. The plan will be available to nearly 24,000 GM salaried employees and their families.

The multi-year contract is reminiscent of Amazon’s recent joint venture to create an independent business with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to improve healthcare for their collective 1.1 million U.S.-based employees.

However, the GM deal brings together employers and providers directly. Henry Ford Health System is a Detroit-based six-hospital system.

"We are very committed to addressing the affordability of healthcare–offering exceptional care while bending the cost curve for consumers in the communities we serve,” Wright Lassiter III, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, said in a statement. “Given our experience in delivering value-based care, and our extensive physician network, we are uniquely poised to create a truly innovative solution for GM, their employees and families."

The plan option is designed to lower costs for participants by improving health and wellness through a connected system, according to the announcement. Henry Ford’s platform also involves value-based care, including integrated medical records, patients engagement tools and physician alignment with patient outcomes.

"These tools, along with the collaborative network of physicians that we've assembled, have enabled us to make an immediate and positive impact on our patients," said Bruce Muma, MD, chief medical officer and interim president and CEO of Henry Ford Physician Network. "Additionally, we are actively growing our network of services and creating more innovative partnerships with aggressive goals for quality and efficiency improvements."

Participants in the plan will have access to same- or next-day appointments with primary care physicians and access to specialist within 10 business days, the plan promises. They will also have access to digital health tools provided by Henry Ford, regular wellness exams, chronic care monitoring and preventive screenings for diseases.