The COVID-19 pandemic will likely accelerate trends already in motion rather than significantly upset the market. The largest health systems—Beaumont Health, Ascension, and Henry Ford Health System—are consolidating their respective networks and collaborating with one another via health information exchanges. Providers used HIEs during the pandemic to detect COVID-19 cases and will continue to do so to drive overall quality improvements. Health systems employ large medical groups and reach the market’s independent physicians via clinically integrated networks. As these networks grow, IDNs are becoming more comfortable forming contracts that involve downside risk. Independent physicians may feel more pressure to align with a health system as this process unfolds, especially in the wake of the pandemic. However, large independent physician organizations provide a stable alternative. Most physicians seeking financial stability will likely opt to join one of these organizations rather than a health system. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will remain the top carrier in the market, thanks to its dominant enrollment and the fact that most providers rely on the carrier to facilitate value-based programs.

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