The Role of Alliances

Competition without coordination can slow progress. In some markets, competition among employers or employer coalitions can create divisions and diminish the impact of collective purchasing power, despite a shared objective. This competition is another reason why employers may be less assertive in pushing for health care quality—coming to the same table to work on a common goal often demands a paradigm shift for employers that are used to competing for market share and workforce talent. Working together, employers can move the market. But working together is the key—and that makes many employers uncomfortable. In putting aside competition, employers will realize the opportunity inherent in working cooperatively to push for change.

It often adds up to a missed opportunity—an opportunity for employers to ask for health care value. Today, Alliances and employer coalitions are helping employers embrace their role as change agents and market drivers.[1] Alliances facilitate by serving as neutral conveners to help divided groups find common ground, focus on mutual goals, and ensure a balance among coalition member types so that all purchasers feel they have an equal voice.

[1]Aligning Forces for Quality. (2012). “Bullish on Business: Engaging Employers in Health Care.”