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Morgan Health CEO: Here’s how we’re making the health system more accountable to Ohioans

Dan Mendelson  –  Chief Executive Officer, Morgan Health

Ohio is recognized for its prestigious health care systems, a testament to the state’s leadership in improving the health of the millions served within its borders. Many Ohioans and their families have established trusted, personal relationships with their doctors, hospitals and care teams over a lifetime of milestone moments. And yet for many Ohio employers looking to provide their employees with a better health care experience, there’s a salient question on the table — what can we do to bring more accountability to the system so our employees can actually improve their health?

Nationally, the current state of employees’ health should raise alarm bells among the business community. The rising prevalence of chronic conditions (e.g., diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and other health concerns) pose long-term health consequences for employees and cost U.S. employers more than $36 billion a year. The ever-increasing expense associated with medical care — including both the cost of insurance as well as out-of-pocket costs for individuals and families — forces difficult trade-offs for companies when it comes to benefits and wages. Further, a recent estimate from Deloitte suggests that health inequities account for approximately $320 billion in annual health care spending, and if left unaddressed, this figure could grow to $1 trillion or more by 2040.

For the more than 50% of Ohioans who receive health coverage through their employer, we believe improved access to quality, affordable health care is part of creating an inclusive economy, and there are tangible opportunities ahead to reorient the health care system so individuals and families receive the best care possible.

Accelerating new approaches to care

In 2021, JPMorgan Chase launched Morgan Health, a new business unit focused on improving health care for 285,000 employees and dependents covered by JPMorgan’s health insurance plan, as well as the millions of people in the U.S. with employer-sponsored insurance. Our mission is to accelerate the adoption of new approaches to care delivery that improve health outcomes as well as the quality, affordability and equity of care.

Morgan Health is investing $250 million of JPMorgan Chase & Co. capital to scale promising health care companies that are meeting employer and employee demand for new approaches to care delivery. Our priorities are designed to give consumers more choices when it comes to their insurance coverage, greater ability to receive care at home or wherever they may be, and a better relationship with their doctor and a care team focused on proactively managing their health.

Morgan Health has deployed $105 million to date, including investments in three early-stage health care companies: Vera Whole Health, Embold Health and Centivo.

Measuring success through improved outcomes

Morgan Health’s innovation strategy is anchored in driving greater accountability in the system, especially among providers, health insurance companies and others involved in the delivery of care to those with employer-sponsored insurance. One of the firm’s largest hubs, Ohio is an important starting point for our efforts. Through our new partnership with Vera Whole Health (Vera), a company that offers an advanced primary care and coordinated care experience, and with Central Ohio Primary Care (COPC), one of the largest physician-owned primary care groups in the U.S., we now offer their comprehensive health services to our Ohio-based employees and their families.

The Vera/COPC model builds on the foundation of primary care by nurturing the patient-provider relationship with longer appointments and empathetic listening. It’s a supportive, human approach to health care where underlying causes are discovered and discussed proactively. Vera/COPC will offer participating employees the opportunity to work with a dedicated care team at the care centers who will coordinate all aspects of their health care.

Our goal is simple: to improve health outcomes for our 20,000 Ohio-based employees and their families, while building an easily scalable and high-quality care model that other employers across the state could incorporate and offer to their employees.

We’ll measure our success based on improvements in diabetes management and reductions in cardiovascular risk as well as closing gaps in care that exist among our diverse employee base. We intend to be fully transparent about our work and progress so others can learn and evolve from our experience. By the business community collectively pushing for greater accountability in the system, we can make a real difference in addressing the health inequities facing employees and the country at large.

We know improving the health of the nation’s workforce is a tall order — and the challenges facing the health system, employers and employees are numerous. But our hope is that we can create meaningful change and empower others to come along with us because we know we can’t do it alone. Supporting our employees — and by extension all Ohio employees and their families — is at the core of our work. We look forward to what we can achieve together.

This story originally appeared in Cincinnati Business Courier.

Learn more about how JPMorgan Chase is contributing to an inclusive economy in the communities where we live and work.