MultiCare, an organization with more than 16,000 employees and a vast system of primary care, urgent care, and specialty services, and Premera Blue Cross, a leading local health plan, announced they will team up to improve customer experience and bring down health-related costs.

“MultiCare is always looking for new and innovative ways to help patients get the care they need and we are pleased to find a like-minded ally in Premera,” Bill Robertson, president and CEO of MultiCare, said in a statement. “Together, we will develop new ways to provide care while delivering better outcomes at a lower cost. We’re excited about the new opportunities this collaboration will create.”

As part of the alliance, Premera will launch a new product called Peak Care, which will become available through Pierce County employers in 2019. Peak Care patients will have access to the entire MultiCare Connected Care network of more than 3,500 providers and practices. Through the new plan, patients will also be able to see a specialist without a referral.

Premera said it intends to distribute its new product more widely in 2020. Peak Care will only be available to those who purchase health insurance through their employers, and is expected to save employers as much as 15 percent when compared with a traditional PPO plan. The two not-for-profit organizations also have plans to make additional tools and services available to customers in the future.

“Our goal is to utilize our combined expertise and experience serving local consumers to build an innovative care model that makes accessing the best quality care at the best price simple and easy for the patient,” Dr. John Espinola, Executive Vice President of Healthcare Services for Premera, said in a statement.