Bellin Health Joins Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Priority Network

Insurer, providers collaborating to improve cost and quality of health care in Wisconsin

Business Wire

MILWAUKEE & GREEN BAY, Wis.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin today announced Bellin Health will join insurer’s Blue Priority network on July 1, 2014.

“Blue Priority is an extraordinary collaboration between Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and leading health care organizations to enhance the quality and efficiency of health care delivered in Wisconsin,” said Larry Schreiber, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin. “Bellin Health shares our vision for high-value, patient-centered care and we’re thrilled to have them bring their leadership and expertise to the Blue Priority network.”

Blue Priority is Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin’s Accountable Care Organization network offering in Wisconsin. It is the network used by all Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Individual health plans sold through the state’s federally-facilitated health insurance exchange, and is available to employers through fully-insured and self-funded health benefits arrangements.

"We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with the members of Blue Priority to provide high-quality services and outstanding care," said George Kerwin, president and CEO of Bellin Health. "As an innovator in healthcare delivery and a leader in the federal Pioneer Accountable Care Organization Program, we look forward to contributing our expertise and resources to help improve healthcare and healthcare access to individuals and families as they pursue their life-long personal health goals."

According to Health Affairs, a third or more of the annual health care spending in the United States – or $690 billion – may be wasteful, with unnecessary costs being driven by factors such as a lack of care coordination, overtreatment, and administrative complexity.*

In Wisconsin, the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Priority network is addressing these issues head-on by breaking down longstanding divides between its participating provider systems and the health insurer in order to improve the quality of health care delivered to patients.

Working with the clinical staff and professionals of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Priority health care providers proactively manage patient care to improve the overall health of the Blue Priority patient population.

Efficiencies and savings are achieved through a focus on:

  • Helping those in good health stay healthy;
  • Providing care and disease management services that help individuals manage their health conditions more effectively; and
  • Driving improvements in overall health of all Blue Priority members through preventive care and appropriate interventions.

Providers in the Blue Priority network exchange clinical health data, co-manage patient cases, and establish quality benchmarks in order to enhance health outcomes while eliminating inefficiencies.

Sometimes mistaken as another name for an HMO, an Accountable Care Organization (ACO) is actually a new kind of care delivery arrangement designed to control health care costs by focusing on outcomes, the total cost of care, and improving patient health.

Health care organizations in the Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Priority network:

  • Use electronic medical records to actively manage patient cases;
  • Exchange data electronically between their health care organization and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield;
  • Reward doctors for value and outcomes, versus volume of services provided;
  • Have leadership support within the health system necessary to drive needed change and identify efficiencies;
  • Utilize data-driven metrics to allow for the identification of best practices, comparative effectiveness measurement and peer evaluation; and
  • Engage in proactive quality initiatives within their system.

Launched in 2012 with Aurora Health Care, the Blue Priority network has grown to include Children’s Hospital and Health System, ThedaCare, Aspirus Health Network, and Bellin Health.

“Blue Priority gives our members access to some of the state’s best health care providers, and rewards those providers for their efforts to improve patient care and transform the health care system,” said Schreiber. “This high-value network now thoroughly covers the eastern half of Wisconsin, where two-thirds of the state’s population resides, and we intend to continue expanding Blue Priority so that even more Wisconsin residents can gain access to industry-leading, coordinated health care.”

Businesses interested in learning more about Blue Priority and getting a rate quote should contact their insurance broker. Individuals can learn more about Blue Priority from their insurance broker, Anthem.com and HealthCare.gov.

About Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin (BCBSWi), which underwrites or administers the PPO and indemnity policies; Compcare Health Services Insurance Corporation (Compcare), which underwrites or administers the HMO policies; and Compcare and BCBSWi collectively, which underwrite or administer the POS policies. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. ® ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.

About Bellin Health

Bellin Health, www.bellin.org, is an integrated healthcare delivery system based in Green Bay, Wis. It has serviced people in Northeast Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1908. Bellin Health has more than 3,200 employees and is known for its emphasis on preventive healthcare and is the region’s leader in cardiac, orthopedics, sports medicine, digestive health, mental health, and primary care medicine. It is comprised of Bellin Hospital, Bellin Psychiatric Center, 24 Bellin Health primary care physician clinics, and several retail health clinics known as Bellin Health FastCare. Bellin also operates Bellin Health Partners, a physician-hospital organization with more than 200 specialty physician members, the Bellin Health Oconto Hospital, a critical care access hospital in Oconto, Bellin Fitness, and Bellin College. Through its Bellin-ThedaCare Healthcare Partners collaboration, the health system is also a participant in the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Pioneer Accountable Care Program, generating $7.6 million in savings in 2012.

* Source: “Health Policy Brief: Reducing Waste in Health Care,” Health Affairs, December 13, 2012.

Contact:
Anthem BCBS
Scott Larrivee, 262-523-4746
scott.larrivee@anthem.com
@AnthemPR_WI
or
Bellin Health
Dana Bzdawka, 920-433-7811
debzda@bellin.org

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