A View on Vertically Integrated Models

While mergers and acquisitions are commonplace in the healthcare industry, vertical integration has become more prominent in recent years. PBMs, pharmacies, payers, providers, and pharmaceutical companies are coming together to explore new business models that can better align incentives and share risks. With unique perspectives from pharmacies, hospitals, and payers, this panel will discuss the challenges and successes of existing vertically integrated business models and opportunities to create value.


Craig GarthwaitE, PhD (Moderator)

Associate Professor of Strategy, Kellogg School of Management


Professor Garthwaite is the Herman R. Smith Research Professor in Hospital and Health Service, an Associate Professor of Strategy, and the Director of the Program on Healthcare at Kellogg (HCAK). He is an applied microeconomist whose research examines the effects of government policies and social phenomena with a focus on health and biopharmaceutical sectors. His recent work has focused on the private sector effects of the Affordable Care Act, including the labor supply effects of large insurance expansions, the changes in uncompensated hospital care resulting from public insurance expansions, and the responses of non-profit hospitals to financial shocks. In prior work, he has examined the impact of government cash assistance programs on health and the effect of changes in expected mortality from the emergence of crack-cocaine markets on educational attainment.

Professor Garthwaite also studies questions of pricing and innovation in the biopharmaceutical sector. In this area he has examined the effect of expanded patent protection on pricing in the Indian pharmaceutical market, the innovation response of United States pharmaceutical firms to increases in demand, and the relationship between health insurance expansions and high drug prices.  

Garthwaite received a B.A. and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Michigan and his PhD in Economics from the University of Maryland.  Prior to receiving his PhD, he served in a variety of public policy positions including the Director of Research for the Employment Policies Institute. He has testified before the United States House of Representatives and several state legislatures on matters related to the minimum wage and health care reforms.


Nick Bassett

Executive Director of Population Health, Intermountain Healthcare

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With a background in hospital finance, Nick Bassett has had instrumental leadership roles influencing and executing changes related to healthcare reform both within Intermountain and to external audiences. Areas of specialization include: bundled payments, physician comp models, clinically integrated network strategy, and general strategic planning. After working in a regional business development and strategic planning role, Nick is now responsible for developing and implementing Intermountain Healthcare’s Population Health strategy.

Nick earned an BS degree in business finance from Brigham Young University and an MBA from Southern Utah University. Nick began his career at Intermountain Healthcare in 2008. 



Vice President, producer administration & Strategy, Highmark


Jeb Dunkelberger is the Vice President of Producer Administration & Strategy at Highmark, Inc. responsible for the commercialization of Highmark’s value proposition to thousands of brokers and clients throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Prior to this role, Jeb served as the Director of Value-Based Reimbursement for Highmark Inc. In that role, he oversaw the design, development, and operationalization of Highmark’s value-based contracts and programs throughout Delaware, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. He also oversaw all reimbursement for Highmark’s integrated delivery and financing system (IDFS) with Alleghany Health Network.

Prior to joining Highmark in 2016, Jeb was the Vice President of Accountable Care Services at McKesson. In this role he led a division focused on the development and optimization of provider organizations that were operating in value-based arrangements. Collectively, Jeb has over 10 years of healthcare experience, primarily focused in value-based care, also having worked with the University of North Carolina Hospital, Duke University Hospital, and Ernst & Young.



Managing Director, EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young LLP


Alex Jung is a Partner in EY’s Health and Life Sciences practices with over 30 years of experience in healthcare, health IT, life sciences and public policy. Most recently, she has worked with many Fortune 100 companies on M&A, growth and innovation strategies and international expansion. She specializes in asset repurposing and new platform commercialization, including pricing strategies and network negotiations. Prior to joining EY, Alex was the Divisional Vice President of Corporate Strategy for Walgreens.  During her tenure there, she architected the company’s healthcare strategy, including the development of the transformed community pharmacy model, acquisitions in eCommerce, specialty, infusion services, retail clinics and Alliance Boots, as well as contract negotiations with Caremark and ESI for the enterprise. Before joining Walgreens, she was the healthcare practice leader for AonHewitt and also worked in leadership roles at Mercer, WatsonWyatt and Arthur Andersen.

Mrs. Jung currently serves as the Chair for the Total Rewards Interest Group for the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC). She sits on the advisory board of the Michael Reese Health Trust and the Healthy Chicago initiative. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Respiratory Health Association and Chair of the Health and Wellness Council of the City of Chicago’s Chamber of Commerce.