Frequently Asked Questions
What was announced today?
Fresenius Health Partners, InterWell Health, and Cricket Health are combining in a three-way merger to form the nation’s premier value based kidney care provider focused on improving health outcomes for patients with chronic kidney disease.
Why are Fresenius Health Partners, InterWell Health, and Cricket Health combining to form one organization?
The new InterWell Health will transform the way patients, physicians, and payors engage in kidney care – supporting better clinical outcomes, an improved quality of life for patients, and reducing costs to payors and the overall healthcare system. The new company will operate under the InterWell Health brand and will combine three companies with complementary strengths to expand and improve chronic kidney disease value based care in the United States:
- Fresenius Health Partners brings expertise in value based contracting and performance
- InterWell Health brings a strong network of more than 1,600 nephrologists driving innovation in the kidney care space
- Cricket Health brings its innovative, technology-enabled care model using predictive analytics to facilitate improved engagement and earlier intervention.
What will be the name of the new company?
The name of the new company will be InterWell Health.
Who will be the leadership team of the new company?
The new business will be led by Bobby Sepucha, Chief Executive Officer; David Pollack, President & Chief Operating Officer; and George Hart, M.D., Chief Medical Officer. Additional leaders will be announced as they are identified.
Who is Fresenius Medical Care?
Fresenius Medical Care is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FME) and on the New York Stock Exchange (FMS) and is a leading provider of products and services for individuals with kidney diseases. Approximately 3.5 million patients globally regularly undergo dialysis treatment. Through its network of 4,036 dialysis clinics, Fresenius Medical Care provides dialysis treatments for 347,683 patients worldwide. The leading provider of dialysis products – including dialysis machines or dialyzers – the company focuses on its core business as well as expanding the range of related medical services in the field of Care Coordination.
Who is Fresenius Health Partners?
Fresenius Health Partners is the value based care division of Fresenius Medical Care North America. The organization’s value based care programs allow for partnerships with payors and the U.S. government to reduce the overall cost of care while helping people with kidney disease reach their health goals. The value based care programs support the entire spectrum of kidney care, from chronic kidney disease to end stage renal disease, including kidney transplantation, supportive care, and all modalities of dialysis. With strong industry expertise, Fresenius Health Partners leverages artificial intelligence, advanced analytics, technological capabilities, and platforms to support early interventions.
Who is InterWell Health?
InterWell Health is a national, physician-centric joint venture between 1,100 physician investors and Fresenius Medical Care North America. Through its nephrology network of more than 1,600 physicians, InterWell Health is positioned to manage kidney patients under at-risk arrangements with public and private payors across the full continuum of chronic kidney disease, transplant, end stage kidney disease, and conservative care. The combined resources and clinical and analytical expertise of the nephrology partners and Fresenius Medical Care North America are transforming care models for chronic kidney disease patients in ways that improve patient outcomes and achieve payor goals.
Who is Cricket Health?
Cricket Health is a provider of value based kidney care with a clinically-proven approach to managing chronic kidney disease and end stage kidney disease. Cricket Health helps payors 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. Cricket Health uses the StageSmart™ machine learning model and predicted GFR (pGFR™) to risk stratify a patient population across each stage of kidney disease with 96 percent accuracy for people with stage 3b and beyond, and then delivers individualized care through its comprehensive patient support service, MyCricket™. Cricket Health members have access to educational resources, peer support, and a multidisciplinary care team in person, by telephone, and virtually. Founded in 2015 and based in San Francisco, CA and Cambridge, MA, the company’s leadership includes leading experts in nephrology, healthcare, and technology.
What is value based care?
Value based care seeks to improve quality of care and clinical outcomes for patients by changing the payment model from fee-for-service to pay-for-value. What that means is a provider or health insurer takes on a risk-based payment model, where they are paid a fixed fee for services for a specific patient population, no matter how much care is needed. There’s an added financial incentive for quality of care and a heightened focus on preventive care, versus volume of care delivered.
How does this benefit and accelerate value based kidney care?
The new InterWell Health will be 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, the new company will also have the financial resources to take on risk based contracts, which have been proven to lower costs, improve outcomes, raise patient satisfaction, improve care efficiencies, and improve overall societal health.
What are the financial terms and structure of the deal?
At closing, the combined value of the new InterWell Health will be $2.4B. Any relevant financial or structural information will be disclosed at closing.
When will the deal close?
We anticipate the deal will close in the second half of 2022.
What are the next steps in the process following this announcement?
Until the close, we will continue to operate as separate entities, business as usual. That means there are no expected changes to current roles, processes, and ways of working for the time being. Right now, we are focused on working toward the close of the transaction while preparing for transition and integration efforts post-close.
How will this impact our business?
This announcement is the first step in this merger. Until the close, we remain separate organizations and will continue to operate business as usual.
What are the mission, vision, and values of the new company?
The new company will aim to improve the quality of care and reduce costs for patients with advanced kidney disease by bringing together strong physician leadership with leading-edge care management and vital technology. We will be a patient-focused, cause-driven company with a mission to change healthcare together. We will turn to our leaders and employees to contribute to the development of the new company’s official mission statement, vision, and company values.
How will patients be impacted by this merger? If impacts are expected, when will they occur?
There are no anticipated impacts to patients. Until the close, we will continue to operate as separate entities, business as usual. Our collective priority is and will remain delivering the best possible care for our patients. We look forward to sharing updates with patients as we work toward the close and will be excited to provide additional information about the improvements patients can expect in the future.
Will patients still be able to see their same physician and go to the same clinic? If not, how will they be told they need to find a new physician and what resources will be provided to them?
There will be no changes to your care provider.
Will patient insurance still be accepted?
There will be no changes to insurance accepted at this time, and we anticipate the new company will accept all forms of major commercial and government insurance in the future. Should there be a change post-close, patients will be provided ample advance notice.
Will billing for care already received be impacted?
No, billing for care that has already been provided will not be impacted by this merger.
How will physicians benefit from the combination?
The cornerstone of this merger is physician-centricity – the new InterWell Health will ensure physicians continue to have a voice in the decisions that impact both patients and physician practices. This merger provides the breadth and resources necessary to support nephrologists in a partnership dedicated to providing industry-leading value based care for patients impacted by kidney disease. This will be possible because the transaction combines an advanced patient engagement platform currently on the market through Cricket Health, with a leading network of nephrologists through InterWell Health, and an experienced leader in the kidney value based care space through Fresenius Health Partners. With access to an innovative, technology-enabled 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 and benefits of value based care.
How will the merger impact the way physicians care for patients?
The intention of this deal is to provide more support to physician practices, offering increased opportunities to focus on patient care. This merger brings together the three key capabilities to successfully improve and expand kidney care and accelerate the transition to value based care, through capabilities that maximize patient engagement, resources that physician practices need to succeed in both a fee-for-service and value-based care environment, and a track record of success with payors in improving clinical outcomes and reducing total medical spend.
Will existing payor contracts be honored?
Yes, existing payor contracts will be honored. We do not anticipate any immediate changes to our current relationships as a result of the merger.
When will existing value based care contracts be transitioned to the new InterWell Health?
Until close, we will continue to operate as separate entities, business as usual. Following the close, value based contracts will be transited to the new company. Any impacts to existing and future contracts will be communicated.