Mercy Health — Cincinnati is advancing its mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves through a new program called DirectHealth Connect.

The DirectHealth Connect program, designed in collaboration with HealtH2Business (H2B), creates a unique vehicle that allows community-based, self-funded employers in Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky to partner directly with Mercy Health and St. Elizabeth Healthcare for health care services rather than going through traditional insurance networks. The goal of the direct partnership model is to help community businesses achieve lower health care costs, while improving their employees’ clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction.

According to Michael Todd, MD, vice president of Direct to Business Services, “Small- and medium-size employers have never really had a seat at the health care transformation table. It’s been the larger corporations that have been driving changes in the delivery of health care to the benefit of their employees and the bottom line. With DirectHealth Connect, employers of all sizes now have a say in how care is delivered and how it can meet the needs of employers and their employees by delivering quality care at lower cost.”

Mercy Health — Cincinnati President Dave Fikse says, “The partnership we have developed with H2B couldn’t come at a more crucial time. We have been able to design a product for employers that helps reduce employee health insurance costs as businesses recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.”

Bill Banks, vice president of Managed Care, St. Elizabeth Healthcare had this to say about the new program: “St. Elizabeth has a long history of innovation and working with employers to deliver high quality and affordable healthcare services, and we see DirectHealth Connect fitting very well with that philosophy. We are excited to be working with Bon Secours Mercy Health and the team at Health 2 Business to bring something new to the Cincinnati market.”

H2B CEO Doug Hetherington echoes the optimism for the DirectHealth Connect program, adding that “Great things happen when employers get off the spreadsheet, sit down with their local health system in partnership and work together. The key is collaboration. When we eliminate inefficiencies and bring all the key stakeholders to the table – employer, employee, and healthcare provider – we see improved health care experiences and reduced costs. It’s really a win-win for the community.”

To learn more about the DirectHealth Connect program, contact Patrick Shiels at