Frequently Asked Questions
What was announced today?
InterWell Health, Fresenius Health Partners, and Cricket Health announced the closure of their three-way merger and the creation of the nation’s premier value-based kidney care provider – InterWell Health.
Why did Fresenius Health Partners, InterWell Health, and Cricket Health combine to form one organization?
Patients deserve phenomenal care, superior care management, the opportunity to slow kidney disease progression, and a team of integrated providers who talk to each other. Payers and healthcare systems need a new way to approach care that puts patients and physicians first and slows the exponential costs of treating patients in the fee-for-service model. The new company will operate under the InterWell Health brand and is differentiated by its ability to support, at scale, improved clinical outcomes, improved quality of life, and efforts to reduce costs for the benefit of patients, physicians, payers, and employees.
Who is Fresenius Health Partners?
Fresenius Health Partners, now a part of InterWell Health, was the value-based care division of Fresenius Medical Care. The organization’s value-based care programs allow for partnerships with payers and the U.S. government to reduce the overall cost of care while helping people living with kidney disease reach their health goals. The value-based care programs, including the NCQA-accredited Kidney Care: 365, support the entire spectrum of kidney care, from chronic kidney disease (CKD) to end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), including kidney transplantation, supportive care, and all modalities of dialysis. With strong industry expertise, Fresenius Health Partners uses artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, technological capabilities, and platforms to support early interventions. Patients also have access to a comprehensive interdisciplinary team that includes a nurse, coordinator, dietitian, and social worker.
Who is InterWell Health?
The legacy InterWell Health was a national, physician-centric joint venture between 1,100 physician investors and Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA) with a nephrology network of more than 1,600 physicians. Now that InterWell Health has merged with Fresenius Health Partners and Cricket Health, the new InterWell Health has unrivaled capabilities and resources that will advance the goal of improving health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people living with kidney disease in the U.S.
Who is Cricket Health?
Cricket Health, now a part of InterWell Health, is a provider of value-based kidney care with an innovative patient engagement platform and a clinically-proven approach to managing chronic kidney disease and end-stage kidney disease. Cricket Health helps payers and providers shift their entire approach to kidney disease upstream, enabling them to intervene early and deliver stage-specific care to those who need it most, ultimately reducing costs and improving kidney disease outcomes.
How does this benefit / accelerate value-based kidney care?
InterWell Health is well-positioned with capabilities, expertise, and reach in value-based kidney care contracting and performance. With a strong physician network and leading-edge technology and analytics platforms in one combined offering, we will also have the financial resources to take on risk-based contracts, which have delivered proven results – lowering costs, improving outcomes, increasing patient satisfaction, and improving care efficiencies and overall societal health.
How and when will patients be impacted by this merger?
There are no anticipated impacts to patients. Our collective priority is and will remain delivering the best possible patient support. We look forward to sharing updates about the improvements patients can expect in the future.
Will patients still be able to see my same physician and go to the same clinic?
Yes, patients will still be able to see the same physician and go to the same clinic. There will be no changes to care providers
What does this mean for current patients?
First and foremost, you do not need to take any action. Cricket Health and Fresenius Health Partners will continue to provide the same high-quality service you have come to expect, with no immediate changes to our relationship or your care team. This combination is about creating an even more seamless and personalized experience for you. InterWell Health will provide comprehensive care and support spanning your entire kidney care journey.
For patients on dialysis: physicians, care teams, and dialysis support teams will all be on the same page, sharing information and comparing notes in real time and addressing any gaps in care.
For Cricket Health patients: You will continue to have access to the 24/7 support, services, and personalized care you have come to know through the existing Cricket Health platform. This includes a comprehensive interdisciplinary care team: a nurse, dietitian, pharmacist, social worker, navigator, and peer mentor, as well as community support and educational resources that are available any time virtually.
For Fresenius Health Partner patients: You will continue to have access to the support, services, and personalized care you have come to know through the KidneyCare:365 program. This includes a comprehensive interdisciplinary team: a nurse, coordinator, dietitian, and social worker.
What does this mean for prospective patients?
We expect this combination to keep more people healthy and at home. InterWell Health will continue to provide the same high-quality service that Cricket Health and Fresenius Health Partners are known for. This combination is about creating an even more seamless and personalized experience. InterWell Health will provide comprehensive patient support spanning the entire kidney care journey. This means physicians will be able to diagnose patients earlier, prior to kidney failure.
Where can I find additional information?
We are committed to keeping you updated throughout the transition. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your usual Cricket Health or Fresenius Health Partners contact.
How will physicians benefit from the combination?
The cornerstone of this merger is physician-centricity – with unrivaled scale the new InterWell Health is positioned to transform the future of kidney care in the U.S. and will ensure physicians continue to have a voice in the decisions that impact patients and physician practices. This merger provides the breadth and resources necessary to support the company’s strong and growing network of over 1,600 nephrologists in driving continued innovation in the kidney care space. With access to an innovative care model and industry-leading platform leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning, the new InterWell Health will harmonize workflows across the healthcare ecosystem to support greater impact of and benefits for value-based care.
How will the new company be focused on quality?
The new InterWell Health is a physician-centric organization focused on improving the health outcomes and quality of life of people living with chronic kidney disease. The company is differentiated by its ability to support, at scale, improved clinical outcomes and a better quality of life, resulting in reduced costs for the benefits of patients, physicians, and payers. Furthermore, physicians will greatly benefit from InterWell Health’s content, expertise, data and management, engagement platform, tools, services, and – equally as important – the independence necessary for physicians to thrive in value-based care while providing superior care for patients. With unrivaled capabilities and resources, the new InterWell Health brings together the complementary strengths of the three organizations, uniting them under the goal of improving health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people living with chronic kidney disease in the U.S.
How will the close of the merger impact the way I care for my patients day-to-day?
This deal provides more support to physician practices, offering increased opportunities to focus on patient care. This merger brings together the complementary strengths of the three organizations, uniting them under the goal of improving health outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people living with chronic kidney disease in the U.S. Together, the combined company will successfully improve and expand kidney care to slow the progression of kidney disease, increase pre-emptive transplants and home dialysis starts, thereby reducing hospitalizations to help lower the total cost of care while seeking to improve patient outcomes.
Will existing contracts be honored?
Yes, existing payer contracts will be honored. We do not anticipate any immediate changes to our current relationships as a result of the merger. We remain committed to our payer contracts, supporting our chronic kidney disease initiatives, and continuously identifying ways to innovate.
When will existing value-based care contracts be transitioned to the new InterWell Health?
Now that the merger has closed, value-based contracts will be transitioned to the new InterWell Health. Any impacts to existing and future contracts will be communicated.