Catalyst for Payment Reform

The Road to Direct Contracting: GM

The Road to Direct Contracting: GM

Read how auto manufacturer, General Motors Company (GM), established a direct contract with Henry Ford Health System (Henry Ford) to create ConnectedCare – a specialized insurance product for salaried employees. Since its 2018 launch, 12% of eligible employees have enrolled in ConnectedCare.


When analyzing its claims data, GM identified concerning patterns of expensive, inappropriate, and wasteful care in several geographies and decided to take action to address the issue.  Seeing a unique opportunity to better manage health benefits for its large covered population in Detroit, GM partnered with Henry Ford to implement a direct contracting arrangement designed to improve the care and patient experience of employees and families in the region.

Written exclusively to help purchasers learn from one another and spread best practices, this case study covers:

  • The challenges and conditions that led GM to seek a direct provider contract,
  • How GM designed a strategy specific to a key geographic market,
  • How GM examined the readiness of potential provider partners for direct contracting and sought provider commitments to accept financial risk for cost and quality performance,
  • The shared risk payment contract between GM and Henry Ford that uses 19 indicators to track quality performance and funnels any incentive payments directly to those delivering care,
  • How GM rolled out the strategy and communicated the ConnectedCare product to eligible plan members,
  • The program results, as well as
  • Key insights, lessons learned, and next steps.

To write this case study, CPR referenced a presentation by Sheila Savageau, GM’s U.S. Healthcare Leader, from October 2019, “Match Made: An Employer’s Approach to Direct Contracting,” as well as information GM provided for CPR’s online education course, A Purchaser’s Guide to Direct Contracting.  CPR also interviewed Amy Vandecar, Vice President, Value Based Reimbursement, and Chelsea Pollet, now the former Director, Direct-to-Employer Relationships at Henry Ford for the provider perspective on the direct contract arrangement.

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Type: Case Study



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