BCBS of North Carolina to launch rural-focused ACO

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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Caravan Health, an ACO provider, are creating an ACO that will work with rural hospitals and providers.

Four things to know: 

1. The ACO is an expansion of BCBS of North Carolina's Blue Premier value-based care network, under which participating providers are jointly accountable for meeting quality and cost metrics. In the past year, Blue Premier providers received $85 million in performance payments. 

2. BCBS of North Carolina said the new rural-focused ACO will help bring value-based care to patients who don't already live near a hospital in the Blue Premier network.

3. "Community and rural providers have seen challenges in adopting value-based care," BCBS of North Carolina said in an Oct. 29 press release. "The smaller population and gaps in technology can make it difficult to achieve the scale needed to show quality improvements and cost reductions."

4. The new BCBS of North Carolina-Caravan ACO aims to address these challenges by giving rural and community providers access to Caravan's methodologies and resources for measuring quality, as well as increased data analytics and patient engagement technologies.

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