A new collaboration between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center plans to improve the delivery and quality of health care services for North Carolinians.
One way this partnership hopes to achieve this is through a home health initiative that aims to reduce the length of time patients have to stay in the hospital, while also reducing the likelihood that they will be readmitted or return to the emergency department.
“This collaboration allows us to think creatively about transforming the way patients receive care, doctors and hospitals provide care and insurance companies pay for care,” stated Susan Weaver, M.D., BCBSNC vice president of health delivery redesign. “Technology and data are rapidly changing the way we live and work but health care has been slow to harness these tools.”
The partnership includes collaboration with the Center for Healthcare Innovation, which has already begun to test pilot programs that deliver cost-efficient care. The programs, according to BCBSNC, are scalable across North Carolina and potentially beyond.
As hospital readmissions cost the U.S. health care system approximately $25 billion a year, according to data from Price Waterhouse Coopers’ Health Research Institute, both parties are saying collaboration is the key to reining in health care costs and improving access of health care services for a wide net of patients.
“This collaboration with Blue Cross is a perfect example of the type of investment in innovation needed to respond to the economic challenges faced by patients, health care providers and insurers,” stated Terry G. Williams, executive vice president of strategy and workforce development at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. “More financial investments in new business models that are value-based and patient-centered are required to bring the result that we seek: improved health for our patients and lower medical expenses.”
The organizations are also collaborating with Paired Health, a company that provides a transitional care software and services platform to enable health systems to reach patients in any setting, whether it is home health care or the hospital.
Through Paired Health’s technology offerings, Wake Forest Baptist providers will be able to access specialized care patient care plans, engage patients in their homes and route those same providers across the region as efficiently as possible.
“We think the Center for Healthcare Innovation is a wonderful idea and smart investment,” stated Sean Harrison, founder and president of Paired Health, Inc. “Now more than ever, we all need to identify better ways to deliver more cost-effective care, so we’re both thrilled and honored to be a part of the Center’s first program.”
Written by Jason Oliva