Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Launches Patient-Centered Primary Care Program in Georgia
Designed to lead to better health outcomes and reduce health care costs
ATLANTA -- (Sept. 17, 2013) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc (collectively BCBSGa) is launching a new initiative designed to help Georgians improve their health by working with primary care physicians to better monitor and manage patient health. The Patient-Centered Primary Care Program (Program) encourages physicians to better manage their patients’ health by rewarding them for more closely monitoring patients identified by risk indicators, and helping patients maintain a healthy lifestyle. The Program is moving physicians away from a patient-volume reimbursement model and toward a model of rewarding physicians based on patient outcomes. The Program also enhances information sharing and coordinates care management support between BCBSGa’s utilization management staff and clinicians within the practice.
The initial phase of the Program launched in four markets: Savannah, Rome, Columbus and Athens with more than 60,000 BCBSGa members in these areas. It is targeted to expand to other areas of the state throughout 2013 and 2014.
“I am enthusiastic about the partnership and collaboration that has been formed between Harbin Clinic and Blue Cross,” said Robert J. Puckett, M.D., in the Department of Family Practice at Harbin Clinic in Rome, Ga. “This marks the first of its kind in our area, and I know that through shared information and transparency, it will result in improved health and outcomes for our patients at a substantial savings to the entire medical system. The work of so many on both sides of this alliance takes our future in a positive direction during this momentous change to our current model of healthcare delivery. It is truly a proud moment!”
BCBSGa’s decision to initiate the Program is based on strong clinical evidence of successful outcomes in other Blue Cross Blue Shield states where pilot programs were conducted. The measureable improvements in quality and cost observed in the pilot programs led to the expansion in Georgia. BCBSGa’s Program also increases revenue opportunities for participating primary care physicians. To participate in the shared savings aspect of the program, practices must meet quality performance goals, which include quality standards established by organizations such as the National Committee on Quality Assurance, the American Diabetes Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics and others.
About Harbin Clinic
Harbin Clinic is Georgia’s largest physician-owned, multi-specialty clinic with more than 220 providers in 17 locations throughout Northwest Georgia across more than 30 specialties. Since 1870 the Harbin family has practiced medicine in the region, founding the Harbin Hospital in 1908 in Rome, Georgia. That hospital grew into the present Harbin Clinic which cares for thousands of patients each day. Harbin Clinic Cares Completely. More info at www.harbinclinic.com.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, a WellPoint affiliated Health Plan, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2012, and as the state’s largest and longest-standing insurer, serves more than 2.4 million members, offering a variety of healthcare plans, including medical, dental, life and specialty programs. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association®. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.bcbsga.com.
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