Twenty of the largest U.S. companies—including Macy's, IBM and Coca-Cola—have formed an alliance that will use data to improve their employee health-care benefits outcomes, while controlling costs, according to a recent press release from the Health Transformation Alliance.

The group said it will focus first on prescription drugs, starting a pilot in 2017, with additional initiatives in 2018.  It hopes to continue to add members and will expand its medical initiatives in 2018.

The health-care marketplace lags behind other sectors in using data to identify best treatments, good outcomes and cost reductions, the HTA said. Employers have become experts in studying data and trends to make business decisions in a variety of areas, and the HTA will pool data that doesn't identify individuals and use it to improve the effectiveness of the health-care supply chain, it said.

Employers currently rely on “a broad range of organizations to procure health care services, and often these organizations serve interests not aligned with the interests of employers and the people they employ,” the HTA said. The coalition will “pool the resources and expertise of its member companies to gain leverage and create an organization whose sole focus will be to ensure the health care needs of employees are being met more effectively and efficiently.”

HTA’s website also includes frequently asked questions about its alliance. HTA said its alliance was not a multiple employer welfare arrangement since it didn’t assume any financial or performance risk in the delivery of benefits. Instead, the alliance would facilitate contracting opportunities between the alliance members and service providers. And in response to a question on the Affordable Care Act, the HTA said its group was a private sector response to the issue of health-care costs.  

More information is available at

See related article, IBM, Coca-Cola Among Firms Forming Health-Care Alliance

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