4 strategies BCBS used to save $1B through patient-centered programs

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association announced Tuesday its patient-centered care programs generated approximately $1 billion in savings in 2013.

BCBS' 37 independent companies now channel $71 billion in medical spending, or one-fifth of total spending, into 570 patient-centered care programs across 48 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. These programs — which include BCBS' accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes, pay-for-performance programs and episode-based payment programs — emphasize prevention, wellness and coordinated care, in conjunction with reducing waste in the healthcare delivery system.

To achieve cost savings, improved prevention, wellness and care coordination, BCBS focused on the following four strategies, according to a company report, "Transforming Healthcare Delivery: A Pathway to Affordable, High-Quality Care in America."

1. Remodel payment structures so that physicians and hospitals are incentivized to deliver higher quality care and improved health outcomes.

2. Provide data technology tools so physicians and hospitals are able to access patient data in real-time to deliver evidence-based care and transform their practice.

3. Put patients in the driver's seat so they able to make decisions about their care, the cost of their care and their own health and wellness.

4. Encourage efficiency and reduce services with little value and high costs, like unnecessary tests and treatments.

"Community by community, BCBS companies are leading the transformation of our healthcare system by emphasizing prevention, wellness, disease management and coordinated care," said Scott Serota, CEO for BCBSA. "We hope that both public and private organizations can learn from our successes and build on them as they move forward."


More articles on accountable care:

UnitedHealthcare, WakeMed Key Community Care launch accountable care partnership
Anthem Blue Cross of California's accountable care programs saves $8M
The linchpin for ACOs? Data, experts say

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