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Providence St. Joseph Health launches for-profit population health management company


Providence St. Joseph Health has launched a for-profit population health management company the health system that will draw on its experience as a provider and health plan.

The Renton, Wash.-based not-for-profit health system says its new company, Ayin Health Solutions, will equip payers, providers, employers and government entities will the skills to lower costs, improve care and keep up with healthcare’s transition to population health.

“We thought as part of our growth strategy and to expand on what we’ve built is to create a separate entity that utilizes our experience as health plan provider and as a large system,” said Dr. Rhonda Medows, Ayin’s CEO and Providence St. Joseph’s president of population health.

Although Providence St. Joseph is a not-for-profit system, Medows said making Portland, Oregon-based Ayin a for-profit company means fewer regulatory requirements and other restrictions. She said for-profit status will also allow for a better range of clients in its pipeline.

Medows said Ayin offers population health informatics and advanced analytics to identify complex populations in commercial, employer or Medicaid groups. The company can then identify risk factors and improve care coordination for those people. For health plans, Ayin helps with quality improvement, particularly in the Medicare Advantage sector, and manages provider networks, among other services. It offers claims adjudication, processing and analytics. Ayin has a pharmacy benefits management service that partners pharmacists and physicians to help better manage costs, according to the company.

Lots of companies offer population health management services, but Medows said Ayin is different because it’s provider sponsored.

“We leverage the experience and expertise of our health plan and built out a separate entity that can be neutral,” she said.

The other thing that separates Ayin from the competition: Medows said it has already proven it can be successful, and already serves clients that cover 1.2 million lives. Ayin was incorporated in December 2018, but prior to that, its team began providing the services under its original banner of Providence Plan Partners. Ayin’s current clients include Western Health Advantage, a Medicare Advantage plan in Northern California, Avera Health, a Medicare Advantage plan in South Dakota and Idaho, and Yamhill Community care, a Medicaid provider in Oregon.

Medows said the word ‘Ayin’ is the sixteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet and means “eyes of god” and represents divine providence.

“We think it’s amazing and we think it’s probably divine providence that we got the name,” she said.