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Anthem, Cleveland Clinic collaborate on Medicare Advantage plan

Cleveland Clinic is working with Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio to offer a new Medicare Advantage plan, continuing the health system's recent pattern of partnerships with insurance companies.

The Anthem MediBlue Prime Select (HMO) has a $0 monthly premium. With the plan, members can receive physician and hospital services exclusively through the Cleveland Clinic, while some services — such as outpatient dialysis and skilled nursing facilities — will be available through independent providers, according to the release. Medicare Advantage plans are privately run versions of the federally funded healthcare program for seniors.

This plan differs from Anthem's other local Medicare Advantage offerings in that it is the insurer's only exclusive network arrangement in Northeast Ohio.

"We're proud to work with the Cleveland Clinic — one of the largest and most respected health systems in the country — providing us the opportunity to increase access for our members to best-in-class patient care facilities," said David McNichols, president of Anthem's Medicare central region, in a prepared statement. "Members will utilize Cleveland Clinic's network for most of their healthcare, giving them the continuity of care needed to achieve the best health outcomes possible."

Anthem MediBlue Prime Select will cover Medicare services and prescription drugs, as well as offer additional benefits, such as dental, vision, allowance for hearing aids, SilverSneakers fitness, in-home meals after being discharged from the hospital, quarterly stipend for certain over-the-counter health products and access to a personal emergency response system, according to the release.

"We share the common mission that patients are at the center of health care delivery, with a keen focus on providing compassionate care to address their unique health care needs," said Kevin Sears, executive director of Cleveland Clinic Market & Network Services, in a prepared statement. "In collaboration with Anthem, we will be able to work with patients across the state of Ohio, providing high-quality, coordinated care to help improve their health and well-being."

Just last week, the clinic announced a partnership with Humana Inc. to create two new $0 premium Medicare Advantage health plans in Cuyahoga County. It was the health system's second co-branded insurance product in recent months. In June, the clinic announced it was making its first entrance into the insurance market with a product bearing its name in collaboration with New York City-based Oscar Health.

Clinic officials say the system's current health insurance strategy is designed to improve health care outcomes, lower costs and enhance patient experiences.

All three partnerships offer narrow-network products, meaning the plans don't include the entire market of providers and facilities, but rather Cleveland Clinic docs and hospitals.

Consumers will be able to enroll in the Anthem plan during this year's Medicare annual election period, which begins Sunday, continues through Dec. 7, 2017, and gives Ohioans eligible for Medicare the opportunity to enroll in Anthem's 2018 Medicare Advantage plans.

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