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Arkansas Health Network Partners with Anthony Timberlands to Improve Health

The Arkansas Health Network, in coordination with the Arkansas Children’s Care Network, has partnered with Anthony Timberlands Inc. to work toward reduced health care costs, increased quality for its staff and improved experiences for families receiving care. Anthony Timberlands, which has owned and managed timberlands, sawmills and multi-faceted wood products businesses since its founding in 1907, will be among the first to take full advantage of this unique health care delivery model designed specifically for self-insured employers. The model became available January 1.

“The rising cost of health benefits is an increasing concern for employers across the state and the country,” said Bob Sarkar, president of the Arkansas Health Network. “The shift in approach this partnership offers helps address that challenge from a holistic perspective, focused on positive outcomes for employees and associated lower costs for employers. We look forward to implementing this value-based approach with Anthony Timberlands to build a healthier and happier workforce.”

“As a family-owned company here in Arkansas, Anthony Timberlands cares about our people. We also challenge ourselves to not only leave a better forest for the next generation, but also a better company,” said Olivette Price, director of benefits and insurance at Anthony Timberlands Inc. “The trend of rising healthcare costs is unsustainable, for both companies and the families who depend on us. This partnership with the Arkansas Health Network and Arkansas Children’s Care Network gives us a forward-looking model so we can work toward a more sustainable future together.”

The two physician-led, Clinically Integrated Networks (CINs), which formed a partnership in 2018, will work with Cigna, the new administrator of Anthony Timberland’s self-funded health plan, to build efficiencies and improve outcomes, with the dual goal of a healthier workforce and lower costs. This includes such efforts as leveraging technology and big data to identify high-risk patients and then connecting them with registered nurse health coaches to proactively manage their care with an emphasis on preventative, rather than reactive, services.

“The best way to keep healthcare affordable and deliver better outcomes for individuals is to focus on wellness and prevention,” said Greg Allen, MidSouth Market President for Cigna. “That’s why we look forward to this collaboration. By using technology and personal, one-on-one follow ups and value-focused care, health issues can be managed or resolved early on, which helps to lower costs and improve quality.”

By integrating the Arkansas Health Network and Arkansas Children’s Care Network with their existing plan, Anthony Timberlands also offers employees access to approximately 2,000 specialists and primary care providers in Arkansas who practice a value-based, evidence-driven approach to healthcare. This expanded access to quality care builds upon the strength of Cigna’s existing provider network and allows for new levels of collaboration and coordination of care.

“Cost is a big piece of the healthcare puzzle, but so is quality,” said Dr. Robert Steele, president of the Arkansas Children’s Care Network. “On top of emphasizing preventative care, we make connections so all of the doctors treating a child can collaborate to make sure they receive timely, evidence-based and cost effective care as close to their home as possible. That results in better outcomes, less time away from school or work to care for a child and healthier, happier families.”

Through this partnership, Anthony Timberlands Inc will also be leveraging a track record of achievement with The Arkansas Health Network. The CIN is already proving to be the most successful Medicare accountable care organization in the state and has been successfully managing CHI St. Vincent employees and dependents since 2015. The Arkansas Children’s Care Network is the only statewide pediatric CIN in the country, improving the health of more than 80,000 children. The two CINs are currently in discussions to provide service for other employers across Arkansas, demonstrating that it is possible to improve employee wellness while reducing the growth of health plan costs to employers.

About Arkansas Health Network

Arkansas Health Network is a physician driven, clinically integrated network initiative that builds on the strengths of participating providers to improve patient health, increase efficiency and enable physicians to succeed in today’s changing health care payment and delivery environments. Learn more at

About Arkansas Children’s Care Network

Arkansas Children’s Care Network is a physician-led, statewide pediatric clinically integrated network designed to improve the health of children across Arkansas by enabling high quality, cost-effective, and coordinated care delivered close to home. Learn more at

For more information, contact:
Joshua Cook, [email protected], 501-777-5032