JPMorgan Chase’s new business unit is taking a keen interest in deploying coordinated primary care for its employees, as indicated by its first investment announced last week.
The unit, Morgan Health, is investing $50 million in Vera Whole Health, a primary care company whose model involves a team of physicians, nurses and health coaches supported by clinics and an integrated technology platform providing data analysis.
Seattle-based Vera Whole Health currently operates a network of primary care centers across 10 states. It recently established a partnership with Central Ohio Primary Care, which includes more than 70 practices.
“Their focus since their founding has been on the whole health of patients,” said Dan Mendelson, CEO of Morgan Health, in an email. “Their approach is in line with ours and we believe we can be an outstanding strategic partner to the Vera team as we build out a coordinated care model for our employees.”
Morgan Health is JPMorgan Chase’s solo venture after the dissolution of the once-lauded Haven. The joint venture launched by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan three years ago dissolved at the beginning of 2021. About five months later, Morgan Health was established. The unit has a mandate similar to Haven’s: improve care for employees and their families.
Mendelson believes Vera Whole Health can improve care as it aims to move away from traditional fee-for-service reimbursement, and instead align financial incentives with services that have a measurable impact on care.
“The Vera investment will enable our employees and their families to have new options that offer better primary care, better care coordination and better access to mental health services,” he said.
Initially, Morgan Health’s investment in Vera will be tied to patient engagement and satisfaction, Mendelson said. But long-term, it will focus on improvements in outcomes, mitigation of cost growth for employees and objective measures of health equity.
“We are in complete alignment with Morgan Health in addressing health disparities,” said Ryan Schmid, Vera’s CEO and co-founder, in a news release. “This unique partnership will not only give us the opportunity to transform the way healthcare is delivered and paid for, but also address the role that social determinants of health, including racial bias, plays in our system.”
Looking ahead, Morgan Health will continue to invest in companies and models that help it achieve its mandate. Specifically, it is interested in companies offering care navigation services.
“We know patients need help navigating their benefits, managing their chronic conditions and holistic wellness, and addressing acute healthcare needs,” Mendelson said.
As Morgan Health makes its next moves, the healthcare market, especially the employer-sponsored segment, will no doubt be watching closely.
Photo: StockFinland, Getty Images