; Letter to the Editor: Health Quality and Costs NY Times August 2, 2012
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Letter to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: Health Quality and Costs NY Times August 2, 2012

August 2, 2012

We are pleased that you highlighted gains that the Southcentral Foundation in Alaska has demonstrated in improving health care quality and reining in costs (“A Formula for Cutting Health Costs,” editorial, July 22). Groundbreaking programs closer to home are showing similar concrete results.

Throughout New York, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are innovating. For example, an Empire BlueCross BlueShield pilot program created patient-centered medical homes to better coordinate care, improve quality and contain costs.

The plan is to expand it to more New York communities.

In year 1, hospital admissions dropped by as much as 23 percent, emergency-room visits declined by as much as 17 percent, and the percentage of Empire’s members receiving preventive care and treatments with a proven track record increased.

In localities around the country, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are collaborating with medical professionals and patients to transform our health care system so it rewards quality, improves health and reins in costs.

SCOTT P. SEROTA
President and Chief Executive
Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Chicago, July 25, 2012