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Creating Health Consumer Alliances (Guest: Tamara Drangstveit)

August 20, 2019

The Heartland Institute's health care policy advisor Sarah Lee Tamara Drangstveit, CEO of Peak Health Alliance, a new cooperative in Summit County, Colorado, that put the negotiating power of health care costs back into the hands of the consumers.

Summit County, Colorado, has some of the highest health care costs in the country, with consumers in the community paying the bulk of costs associated with health care services including those offered under Medicare.

As a result, families and individuals found that most of their spending was related to health care and realized the situation was unsustainable. So they came up with an innovative community plan: they would, under a little used state law, create a consumer alliance that allowed them to negotiate the best prices they could directly with hospitals and health care providers, and then invite health insurance providers to compete on the open market for their business.

They call their new effort Peak Health Alliance, and it is currently the first of its kind in the nation. CEO Tamara Drangsveit joins the Health Care News podcast to discuss the new alliance, which is set to begin offering plans in January 2020, and whether or not she believes it could be extrapolated to other communities' based on their own individual needs. 

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Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.