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.

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