BlueCross To Partner With Methodist Healthcare In January

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee will partner with Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in a five-year arrangement that will advance new care and payment models. The agreement goes into effect Jan. 1, 2013 and will focus on quality care, with the goal of delivering outstanding medical value in the Memphis and West Tennessee marketplace.

The new agreement with Methodist is based on three key components:

  • Methodist will replace Baptist Memorial Healthcare System as the Network S provider in the Memphis area.
    Giving members access to the region’s most comprehensive health system via BlueCross’ most cost-efficient Network S will drive savings for customers.
  • Each organization has committed significant resources toward the development of the framework for an accountable care organization (ACO) that will serve Memphians and others in the region.
  • Both Methodist and BlueCross will be financially accountable for performance-based measures meant to ensure quality and reduce costs.

“This is really a partnership of strengths in Memphis,” said Bill Gracey, CEO-elect for BlueCross. “Methodist demonstrated that they are ready to approach care in a completely different way and partner with us to focus on quality and patient outcomes. This adds the extended, long-term benefit of making us more competitive in the market, which translates to cost savings for our customers.”

“We’ve always been committed to offering the best outcomes for patients, but this new agreement means we’re all working together in innovative ways to accomplish our goals,” said Gary Shorb, president and CEO of Methodist. “The industry is shifting away from traditional payment methodologies and we’re excited to be at the forefront of this change. We believe the model we develop can set the highest quality standard and deliver outstanding outcomes for patients while still being affordable.” 

The ACO partnership with Methodist is the first for BlueCross in Tennessee. ACOs were originally conceived to link payments to outcomes for Medicare beneficiaries.

Network S is one way that BlueCross works to curb costs for members by providing a strong choice of respected doctors and facilities proven to deliver quality care at less cost. Choosing Network S as part of a benefits plan, saves employers money. Depending on plan design, employees also save money on their portion of cost.

Baptist Memorial Healthcare, the current Network S provider in Memphis, will continue to participate in this role until Dec. 31, 2012. Moving forward, Baptist will continue to serve BlueCross members through the Blue Preferred®, BlueCare? and TennCare Select networks. Additionally, BlueCross will work with both Baptist and Methodist to ensure its group customers and members have the time and information needed to make decisions about their choice of networks or where they receive care in the future.


Elizabeth DeLeonardis Joins CHI Memorial Family Practice Associates In Spring City

CHI Memorial Medical Group welcomed Elizabeth “DeDe” DeLeonardis, PA-C.  Ms. DeLeonardis earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and a master’s degree in physician assistant studies from South College in Knoxville.  She is a certified physician assistant by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. ... (click for more)

Additional Smart Steps Child Care Payment Assistance Opportunities Available Across The State

The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced additional Smart Steps child care payment assistance opportunities across the state to be a resource for income eligible parents who are working, pursuing postsecondary education, or a combination of both. The Smart Steps program is a part of the Department’s 2G for Tennessee initiative - a two-generation approach focused on both ... (click for more)

School Board Turns Thumbs Down To Proposed Funding Of Central Track

County school board members on Thursday night expressed a number of concerns about a proposed $500,000 new track under consideration for funding by the County Commission at Central High School. The vote was 9-0 to table a motion to accept the money (if offered). Karitsa Mosley-Jones said, "We've got students at schools on a high priority list and you're going to give me a track?" ... (click for more)

School Board Approves 4-Year Contract Extension With Independent Bus Drivers, Who Say They Can Handle 100 Routes; Extension Given On Custodial Contract

The county school board on Thursday night extended the contract by four years of school bus owner operators, who said they could deliver on 100 bus routes. The board delayed until a special meeting at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday at Central High School the issue of whether to accept the offer of 100 contract routes. That would be handled by many of the current 49 owner operators taking ... (click for more)

Bikers Need To Have Licenses And Insurance - And Response

I am okay with Haslam’s idea of raising the gas tax and lowering the food tax.  But, I want to see a tax of bicycles since they have their own lanes now and they also have to be maintained. How much revenue would that bring in?  I would think if we have enough bike riders to have the lanes in the first place, there must be enough to generate some money for road improvements. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Where Is Central’s Auditorium?

I am surely one of the biggest proponents of high school athletics there is, especially after half a decade of being an eye witness to the vast array of lessons that are learned every day by anyone associated with sports. That said, I have watched the Hamilton County Commission waffle on a $500,000 track at Central High School with a certain curiosity because the same high school ... (click for more)