; Susquehanna Health And Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania Launch Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot
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Press Release

Susquehanna Health And Blue Cross Of Northeastern Pennsylvania Launch Patient Centered Medical Home Pilot

December 4, 2013

WILKES-BARRE -- In an effort to enhance quality and better manage health care costs, Susquehanna Health (SH) and Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) have joined together to launch a Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) pilot program with Susquehanna Health Medical Group’s (SHMG) primary care physician practices in Lycoming and Clinton Counties.

The PCMH model is part of the evolution of the health care industry toward accountable care and the transformation of regional health delivery to meet the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Triple Aim goals:

  • improving the health of the population (quality and safety)
  • improving the patient experience (satisfaction with care provided)
  • reducing the cost of health care (better value for the community)

The BCNEPA/SHMG pilot program will seek to meet these goals by ensuring that the care patients are receiving meets national quality measures in areas such as childhood immunizations, cancer screenings, diabetes testing and cholesterol management.

As part of the pilot program, BCNEPA will support SHMG primary care physicians in making necessary office and technology improvements, and will help facilitate the integration of care coordinators into the practice.  The care coordinators will work with all of SHMG’s 45,617 patients, regardless of insurance coverage, making this program unique to other PCMH programs.

“The care coordinators are a key component of this program,” said Nina M. Taggart, MD, Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Medical Officer for BCNEPA.  “They will be in the physician offices working with patients every day to make sure they are getting the right care at the right time for the best outcomes.”

BCNEPA’s Blue Health Solutions℠ Care Managers will also have access to the same tools and reports as on-site SHMG staff, meaning they can work together to manage the patient’s care needs.  This coordination will allow for better care management of all patients, regardless of health status, including those patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and heart disease.

“In a patient-centered medical home, each patient has an ongoing relationship with a personal physician who leads a team of healthcare professionals who are accountable for all the patient’s healthcare needs,” says Dr. William McCauley, President of Susquehanna Health Medical Group.  “Care for the patient is coordinated and based on evidence-based medicine and clinical decision-support tools.  Just as importantly, it includes shared decision-making with patients and families.”

The pilot program launched on November 1, 2013 and will continue through December 31, 2015.  It is expected to produce best practices and methodologies that can be implemented by other practices across the region.

This PCMH pilot program is the first within BCNEPA’s 13 county service area in which BCNEPA is the principle sponsor.

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania
Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to nearly 545,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for nearly 100 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.