Blue Cross Blue Shield groups weigh potential cost sharing strategies

Screen-Shot-2013-01-07-at-2.36.40-PMThe Wall Street Journal reports that Highmark Inc. is, with other health groups, part of very early-stage discussions regarding “combining some operations to share costs.”

The talks apparently include Blue Cross-affiliated companies including Philadelphia’s Independence Health Group, the parent company for Independence Blue Cross, according to the paper.

“The parent of Independence Blue Cross is working with advisers on the review, according to a person familiar with the matter,” the WSJ wrote. “Typically, such analyses involve weighing shifts in strategy, like a merger or restructuring.”

However, Independence Health Group downplayed the story to the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Highmark acknowledged the meeting as reported in The Wall Street Journal.

“The objective of the meetings was to discuss ways we can bring value to our communities and members. It’s fairly customary for Highmark to have these sorts of conversations, given that we operate national organizations in dental, vision and stop-loss – as well as a solutions company that supports 11 Blue Plans on our platform,” said Highmark spokesman Aaron Billger in a statement to the Pittsburgh Business Times.

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