Independent Health forms strategic alliance with C

Independent Health forms strategic alliance with CDPHP

Albany and Buffalo, NY – May 20, 2014 – CDPHP and Independent Health, two health plans nationally recognized for customer service, provider partnerships and innovative approaches to improving community health, today announced a strategic alliance to explore opportunities to enhance their efforts to further transform health care in their respective communities, while remaining independent.

The partnership is intended to benefit key stakeholders, in particular customers and providers, by sharing best practices and expertise in all areas of each company’s respective operations.

“This strategic alliance will allow each of our plans to remain independent and highly responsive to the needs of our respective communities,” said Michael W. Cropp, M.D., president and CEO, Independent Health. “This is not a merger, but a unique alliance to exchange and implement ideas and strategies that are essential to continue driving sustainable health care. The learning and discipline that will come from working together will greatly accelerate our respective abilities to meet the needs of our provider partners and our customers.”

“By combining the talents, resources and expertise in both of these companies, the alliance will allow us to build innovative products, tools and services for providers, employers and individuals from Albany to Buffalo,” said John D. Bennett, M.D., president and CEO, CDPHP. “Yet, we will be able to continue to provide the same personalized and high-quality customer service that our customers in the Capital District and Western New York have come to recognize and value from these two companies.”

Independent Health, headquartered in Buffalo, and CDPHP, located in Albany, are non-competing, regional health plans serving different geographic markets. Both health plans are like-minded, not-for-profit organizations nationally recognized for our customer service, provider partnerships, and innovative approaches to improving the health of their respective communities. They are both Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP) members.

For nearly 30 years, CDPHP and Independent Health have maintained a close relationship and are now developing a strategic alliance to leverage joint expertise by focusing on innovative ways to achieve the Triple Aim of better health, better care and lower costs.

“We believe the alliance will help us support consumers as they utilize and navigate increasingly prevalent high deductible health plans,” said Dr. Cropp. “It will also drive partnerships with providers as we move rapidly to value-based payments and high-performance networks.”

“This effort is geared towards providing the two companies with the resources most not-for-profit health plans struggle to achieve so they can provide better service and products, at a lower cost to our customers,” said Dr. Bennett. “It will advance the goals of accountable and affordable care as envisioned by the passage of the Affordable Care Act and will assure upstate New Yorkers of continued value-driven, patient-centric health care.”

As part of the strategic alliance, the two companies will look to:
  • Develop innovative tools to help health care providers manage their entire populations and provide patient care in the most efficient manner;
  • Partner with physicians through technology and clinical innovation to provide patients the right care, in the right place, at the right time and with the right level of cost;
  • Invest in new technology to provide consumers easy access to the information and services they need to navigate the often fragmented health care system;
  • Develop new products with the consumer, rather than the delivery system, at the center.

“Physicians and consumers in both markets will greatly benefit from this alliance of two patient-centered, physician-led health plans,” said Donald Robinson, M.D., chair of the Leadership Council for The Primary Connection and a member of the Independent Health Board of Directors. “By working together, these two innovative plans will be in an even stronger position to invest in primary care, enhancing the capabilities and providing the analytics that will help physicians better meet the needs of the patient populations we serve.”

“The health care industry is undergoing dramatic changes, and physician groups such as CapitalCare are being asked to take on more and more responsibility for the holistic care of our patients,” said Joan Hayner, CEO of CapitalCare, a leading independent physician group in the Capital District. “This unique alliance of CDPHP and Independent Health will bring additional resources and services, as well as a partnership in care, to help us improve the health and well-being of our patients.”

“Independent physicians need the support of a good partner in these rapidly changing times in healthcare,” said Shirish Parikh, MD, MBA, FACR, Chairman and CEO of Community Care Physicians, a patient centric and physician led multi-specialty medical group with more than 240 clinicians practicing out of more than 40 offices throughout the Capital District. “The alliance of two like-minded health plans such as CDPHP and Independent Health, and their focus on providing independent medical groups with the services and tools they need to improve their patients’ health will be good for us and the entire community.”

“A high quality, and affordable health care system is a prime driver in creating jobs and business opportunities,” said Mark Eagan, President and CEO of the Albany Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. “This innovative alliance of two high quality health plans will help us improve quality for consumers and will help make health insurance premiums more affordable for employers.

“The future of the health care industry is all of our responsibilities,” said James J. Barba, President and CEO, Albany Medical Center. “We applaud the work that CDPHP is doing today, in partnership with Independent Health, to improve the community’s quality of life by adapting and innovating in the face of change.”

“This effort shows vision and innovative thinking on the part of these organizations to collaborate on opportunities to meet the health coverage needs of consumers and employers through improved quality and more affordable premiums,” said Colleen DiPirro, president and CEO, Amherst Chamber of Commerce, and member of the Independent Health Board of Directors.

Leaders from the two organizations are continuing to work collaboratively to seek ways to improve technologies and grow revenues. By partnering with one another and other stakeholders, the two plans hope to ensure mutual success, and most importantly, serve as leaders in their industry, working to drive sustainable health reform.

About CDPHP®

Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 24 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

About Independent Health

Independent Health, a not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Buffalo, New York, serves nearly 375,000 members and provides innovative health care products and benefits designed to engage consumers in their health and well-being. Established in 1980, our comprehensive portfolio of progressive products include HMO, POS, PPO and EPO products, Medicare and Medicaid plans, traditional indemnity insurance, individual and small group Exchange products, consumer-directed plans and health savings accounts, plus coverage for self-funded employers. Our subsidiaries and affiliate companies include pharmacy benefit management, specialty pharmacy and the Independent Health Foundation.

The company has been recognized nationally for its award winning customer service, dedication to quality health care and unmatched relationships with physicians and providers. To learn more, go to