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6 notes on Risant Health 6 months later

It has been six months since Oakland, Calif.-based Risant Health agreed to acquire Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health to launch Risant Health. 

The health systems said in an April 26 news release announcing the deal that the new nonprofit "aims to expand and accelerate the adoption of value-based care in "diverse, multi-payer, multi-provider, community-based health system environments."

Here are six updates to know on Risant Health since the announcement: 

1. Kaiser Permanente expects the deal to acquire Geisinger will close in 2024, pending regulatory approval.

2. Risant Health plans to acquire four or five more health systems and get to a total revenue of $30 billion to $35 billion over the next five years. Risant will be based in Washington, D.C. 

3. Geisinger CEO Jaewon Ryu, MD, said the health system will remain in local control if the transaction is approved. He told Becker's Risant Health "takes everything that people are familiar with and love about Geisinger and builds on that to bolster it and sort of give it that turbo-boost, if you will, enhancing all those capabilities that I described earlier." He said the transition won't involve layoffs, but over time, as it looks to improve quality and lower the cost of care, Geisinger will "look at staffing models of tomorrow as opposed to only staffing models of yesterday."

Dr. Ryu will become the CEO of Risant Health if and when Kaiser's acquisition is approved. He said that while no definitive plans have been made, Geisinger will select a new CEO when he transitions out of the role. 

4. Risant will make a minimum of $2 billion available to Geisinger — inclusive of any Geisinger internally generated and Risant Health funds — as needed through Dec. 31, 2028, to support necessary hospital, ambulatory facility, technology, and other strategic and routine capital.

5. Greg Adams, chair and CEO of Kaiser Permanente, told Becker's that competing with disruptors was part of the reason for starting Risant Health.

"As healthcare emerges from the worst effects of the pandemic, we are not seeing sufficient movement toward coming together, but rather, a resumption of the pre-pandemic business trends of consolidation, volume-driven care and a worsening of the fragmentation and gaps in our healthcare system," Mr. Adams said. "While some new players share our vision of integrated value-based care for all, we see other new and disruptive market entrants whose business models seem aimed at serving just the healthiest people, which increases fragmentation and ultimately increases the cost of care for everyone."

6. Robert Pearl, MD, who served as CEO of The Permanente Medical Group from 1999 through 2017, expressed concerns to Becker's about Risant. 

"Short term, the [proposed transaction] is going to help [Geisinger], because they'll get one or two billion dollars from Kaiser, but in the long term — unless they can improve performance — they're going to continue to struggle," Dr. Pearl said. "What's been published tells me that the deal will allow them to improve performance. My opinion right now is that we have to see what will happen, but I have a lot of question marks."

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