BATON ROUGE, La. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana’s Quality Blue programs continue driving better health results while reining in costs.
Data from the second year of Blue Cross’ Quality Blue Value Partnerships program, in which healthcare providers can earn financial incentives if they successfully improve their patients’ health outcomes and cut spending, shows enrolled providers saved an average of 2.8% of their total healthcare costs during the past year, with the most successful savings reaching 6.25%.
The data also shows that Blue Cross customers who are seeing Quality Blue doctors had overall fewer hospital stays and ER visits, and they were more likely to have recommended preventive care like colorectal cancer screenings or mammograms, than customers seeing other doctors.
“Our Quality Blue programs have gotten great results in a fairly short period of time,” said Dr. Paul Murphree, Blue Cross interim chief medical officer. “Through the strong partnerships we are building with healthcare providers around the state, we have a real opportunity to improve Louisiana’s historically poor health outcomes and hold the line on costs.”
The Quality Blue providers are having regular talks with Blue Cross clinical staff about how to get their mutual customers – Blue Cross members who are their patients – to top-quality, cost-effective care, Murphree added. For example, doctors will ask how much the same test costs at different facilities before referring a patient. “We have a team that helps identify opportunities for both quality and cost, and I believe it is one of the best in the country,” Murphree said.
The seven Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) enrolled in the program from 2015-2016 were: Baton Rouge Clinic, Baton Rouge General Physicians Group, Gulf South Quality Network, Health Leaders Network, Ochsner Health Network, The Family Doctors and Willis Knighton Physician Network.
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