BCBSNC teams with SAS to create personalized plans

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has partnered with software company SAS to develop more personalized and better targeted health plans for members.

The partnership, which the companies announced Thursday, aims to use SAS analytics to identify customers who could most benefit from improving their health, determine how best to engage those customers and then develop new products, services and programs accordingly, reported Insurance & Technology.

"Our work with SAS addresses an issue that's at the crux of the healthcare challenges we face today: improving health in order to reduce costs for our customers," BCBSNC Chief Medical Officer Don Bradley said in a statement.

BCBSNC might, for example, use the analytics to learn how to best encourage members to undergo colonoscopies or receive flu shots, the Triangle Business Journal reported.

"Traditionally, we've based health plan designs and care management programs on conventional research," Bradley said in the BCBSNC announcement. "Now we can look through a new lens at readily available data to create health plans better targeted to consumers' needs. And, more importantly, we can offer more personalized care management programs, which individuals are more likely to respond to--making it more likely that these efforts will improve their health."

Although BCBSNC already uses internal data to conduct "predictive modeling," it hopes that collaborating with SAS to add new data from third-party sources will provide more insight on customers' needs and habits, according to the News & Observer.

"By better engaging customers, health plans can provide top-notch customer service and support," said SAS Chief Medical Officer David Hughes. "This will allow the health system to deliver consumer-focused patient care. Better care often means reduced costs - the health plan wins, the provider wins. Most importantly, the customer wins."

To learn more:
- read the News & Observer article
- see the Insurance & Technology article
- check out the Triangle Business Journal article
- here's the BCBSNC announcement