Published November 21, 2016

The old tension between health insurers and doctors is dissolving. Today we work together to improve care for patients, empower consumers and optimize outcomes. This is the future of healthcare.

At this year’s Health Datapalooza, I spoke with four “disruptors” working to build this future: Eric Armbrecht of the Midwest Health Initiative, Lynn Banaszak Brusco of the Disruptive Health Technology Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Jonathan Mathieu of the Center for Improving Value in Health Care and Farzad Mostashari of Aledade. We discussed how insurers and doctors can best tap public and private data to improve the delivery of care.

Based on the panel’s conversation it is clear to me that we have entered a new age in healthcare, with new opportunities to collaborate and innovations arriving daily. However, moving toward a data-driven system of care requires a dramatic shift in thinking for all of us.

Consumers will demand more information and better service. They will be better informed and more engaged in their care. Employers should be able to customize wellness incentives and encourage employees to access the care and information they need to improve their health.

Health plans will empower their employer and individual customers to choose networks that provide incentives for higher quality care and better outcomes for patients.

In our interactions with doctors, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are driven by data. Our database, BCBS Axis, contains 36 million provider records, 2.3 billion covered procedures and $380 billion in annual claims data. That allows us to mine valuable insights and share them with doctors, enabling physicians to deliver the best care for patients.

In this exciting time for healthcare, data is redefining relationships among insurers, doctors and patients to bring improvements for all.


The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.