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Elevance Health, formerly Anthem, is poised to acquire Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana after reaching a definitive agreement this week to bring in the insurer, with BCBSLA joining the Elevance Health-affiliated Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield family of brands.
The two organizations said they are “united in a mission” to improve access, quality and affordability for Louisiana residents.
The combination builds on the existing collaboration in Louisiana through joint ownership of Healthy Blue, which serves Medicaid and Medicare Dual Eligible members.
BCBSLA will serve more than 1.9 million members with capabilities developed by Elevance Health and its Carelon health services organization. With more than $4 billion invested over the past several years, Carelon provides programs for behavioral health, complex and chronic care, and digital models, the companies said.
WHAT IS THE IMPACT
The plan’s Louisiana headquarters will remain in Baton Rouge and continue to serve its clients locally through its workforce of approximately 3,000 employees.
An additional benefit of the deal, the companies said, will be the creation of a multibillion-dollar foundation, the Accelerate Louisiana Initiative. The foundation is being created, Elevance said, to “address the unique and complex needs” of Louisianans by addressing health care disparities and strengthening local communities.
The acquisition is expected to close later this year and is subject to customary closing conditions and the receipt of certain necessary approvals.
Following the closing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield plans affiliated with Elevance Health will now operate within 15 states nationwide.
“Elevance Health and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana will combine strengths to provide services unique to the needs of Louisiana to better serve members through a holistic health personalized approach,” said Elevance Health President and CEO Gail Boudreau.
THE BIGGER TREND
Elevance Health announced the launch of Carelon healthcare brand in June 2022; will consolidate its existing broad portfolio of capabilities and services businesses over the next two years. Carelon’s services range from research to integrated whole-person care delivery, pharmacy, behavioral health to digitally enabled solutions.
The previous acquisition announced by Elevance was that of BioPlus, a comprehensive specialty pharmacy, in November. BioPlus provides a range of specialty pharmacy services for patients living with complex and chronic illnesses such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, autoimmune diseases and rheumatology.
Elevance posted a profit of $1.6 billion in the third quarter of this year, a 7.2% gain over the same period in 2021. Revenue reached $39.9 billion, up 11.5% from revenue in 35 .8 billion dollars posted a year ago.
“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a strong and vibrant company with a history of serving Louisiana residents for nearly 90 years,” said Dr. I. Steven Udvarhelli, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. “However, to remain strong in today’s environment with the ability to deliver leading innovations, products and capabilities, we concluded that we needed a partner who could help us deliver them faster and better than we could on our own . Aligning with Elevance Health – a national healthcare organization that has been our trusted partner since 2017 – will allow us to accelerate our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianans.”
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