Jefferson Health, Independence Blue Cross sign 5-year agreement with telemedicine focus

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Philadelphia-based Jefferson Health and Independence Blue Cross entered into a five-year agreement to improve healthcare access, quality and cost for patients, The Philadelphia Tribune reports.

The agreement, effective Sept. 1, will also align Jefferson Health with the Independence Facilitated Health Networks model, a collaborative approach designed to bring health insurers and health systems together to coordinate team-based care.

The agreement will involve the use of innovative technologies, like JeffConnect, the health system's telehealth effort. Jefferson Health and Independence Blue Cross will work together to expand virtual healthcare services, such as the JeffConnect virtual triage and virtual rounds programs.

The two organizations are also considering the creation of a "hospital without beds," according to The Philadelphia Tribune. The program would enable clinicians to care for patients in their homes with the support of remote diagnostic services and videoconferencing communication.

Other potential efforts include using integrative medicine to combat health issues or establishing comprehensive programs to address health disparities.

"We have a unique opportunity in this new, expanded relationship with Independence to achieve our vision of reimagining healthcare, education and discovery to create value and improve lives," said Stephen K. Klasko, MD, president and CEO of Jefferson Health. "Jefferson is committed to bringing tomorrow's healthcare to Philadelphia today and we have an innovative partner in Independence."

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