PHILADELPHIA, PA., May 15, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Independence Blue Cross (Independence) announces it has exceeded 300 recognized medical homes in its southeastern Pennsylvania network and now has one of the highest concentrations of medical homes in the nation.
Independence was among the first and most ardent supporters of the region's first medical home program launched by the state of Pennsylvania in 2008. In 2010, six percent of Independence's membership was served by primary care doctors who had transformed their practices into medical homes. Today that number is 43 percent and continues to grow.
Independence is a market leader in offering a direct financial incentive to any primary care office which becomes recognized as a patient centered medical home by the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Independence has provided more support for medical homes than any other health plan in the region. Independence is also very proud to work with some of the most respected teaching hospitals in the region to ensure that young physicians in their residency programs are trained in this high value model of primary care.
Medical homes are unique in many ways, but the most significant are the more coordinated and personalized care patients receive. For example:
- More efficient scheduling systems allow patients to receive attention when they need it rather than waiting days for the next open appointment.
- Care managers and nurse educators communicate with patients between appointments to make sure scheduled tests and consultations occur and medications are being taken as prescribed.
- Information systems are in place to help doctors know about the care their patients receive outside of their offices and help keep track of care that patients are due to receive.
- Patients are able to more effectively communicate with their doctor and primary care office.
"With a more complete picture of their patients' overall health, primary care physicians and their teams help patients stay well and avoid emergency room visits," said Dr. Richard Snyder, Independence's chief medical officer. "For patients, this means feeling more empowered to manage their own care and knowing that there's a whole team of people supporting them."
This spring, Independence published two multi-year studies examining the impact of medical homes on utilization and medical cost. The studies showed positive results for chronically ill and diabetic patients, including lower overall medical costs, fewer hospital admissions, and fewer emergency room visits. These studies were recently published in The American Journal of Managed Care and the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. With our affiliates, we serve more than 8.2 million people in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more than 75 years, we have been enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit www.ibx.com. Connect with us on Facebook at ibx.com/facebook and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
CONTACT: Contact: Ruth Stoolman Independence Blue Cross 215-241-4807(office) 215-280-3335 (cell) Ruth.Stoolman@ibx.com
Source:Independence Blue Cross