Private-public partnership to track and slow COVID-19 in Louisiana

Published May 5, 2020

Leveraging data. For the Health of America.

July 28 , 2020 update: In this video, executives at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Health discuss leadership insights behind the public-private partnership that led to the COVID-19 tracker.

Before the first case of COVID-19 was announced, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) was ahead of the curve ... proposing a unique partnership with the Louisiana Department of Health for the purpose of slowing the spread of the virus.

How it works

BCBSLA is a national leader in the use of data to improve health outcomes. In this case, the insurance company developed "The Louisiana COVID-19 Outbreak Tracker." The tracker is a combination of BCBSLA data, including hospital admissions and discharges, public health data such as coronavirus cases recorded by the state and other private data sources. Leveraging this combined data set, which represents two of three Louisianians, BCBSLA used its technology and analytics expertise to give the state a robust platform to aggregate and analyze COVID-19 information.

State health officials use the tracker to model COVID-19 rates of hospitalization, death and hospital capacity. The result: a data-driven, targeted response to COVID-19 that maximizes available medical resources in the community.

“We believe it takes public/private partnerships such as this to successfully tackle this unprecedented public health emergency. Using cutting-edge technology for timely and precise decision-making and action, our work with the Louisiana Department of Health is monitoring and tracking the spread of the virus to help Louisiana flatten the curve and keep everyone as safe as possible,” said BCBSLA President and CEO I. Steven Udvarhelyi, M.D.

Scaling across the country

The work to share health data during a crisis represents a potential model for other states. BCBSLA is sharing insights with other companies offering strategic guidance on how to quickly pivot to share data originally created to engage doctors and help members.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana’s comprehensive platform offers a secure location for data from state and private healthcare sources, with technologies and modeling that has become one of the decisive tools to guide our actions,” said Louisiana Department of Health Secretary Courtney N. Phillips. “It’s also a helpful guide in understanding and addressing the different healthcare capacities across the state. As the governor has said, we are grateful for the deeply collaborative relationship with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana during this time.”

Learn what BCBSLA is doing for members during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.