Providers dictate the terms in Atlanta, where a rapidly growing population is spurring facility expansions and clinical alignment of physicians and health systems. Emory Healthcare’s clinically integrated network remains low-hanging fruit for payers, employers, and provider groups to forge partnerships focused on quality and cost containment. The Northside-Gwinnett merger is the most recent in a gigantic wave of consolidation that has reshuffled Atlanta’s market share dynamics to further shift power in providers’ favor. Overall, Atlanta is a proving ground for clinical integration and risk-based contracts, and the market is poised for additional innovative partnerships, direct employer contracts and even outcomes-based drug contracting.

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