Blue Cross NC adds 8th provider to Blue Premier value-based care program 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has added another provider to its statewide Blue Premier value-based care program. 

FirstHealth of the Carolinas, which operates four acute care hospitals and seven urgent care locations, reaching patients in 15 counties, is the eighth health system to sign on with the program, Blue Cross NC announced Thursday. 

Atrium Health, Cone Health, Duke University Health System, Novant Health, UNC Health Care, Wake Forest Baptist Health and WakeMed Health & Hospitals have previously agreed to participate in the model. 

Adding FirstHealth brings Blue Cross NC one step closer to its goal of having 50% of its members in value-based contracts this year. 

“Healthcare systems across North Carolina continue to embrace Blue Premier as the future of value-based care and shared accountability for health,” Rahul Rajkumar, M.D., Blue Cross NC chief medical officer, said in a statement. 

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Under the model, participating providers and Blue Cross NC share risk to boost outcomes and lower costs, with health systems sharing in savings or losses. 

The program also allows for enhanced care coordination and data sharing, Blue Cross NC said. The insurer estimates that Blue Premier will lead to medical cost savings of 15% over the next decade. 

Mickey W. Foster, CEO of FirstHealth, said in a statement that the program “reflects the future of healthcare delivery.” 

“The collaboration between health systems and insurers will confirm that patients receive the best care at the lowest cost,” Foster said. “Our efforts to transform the delivery of healthcare in our service area aligns with Blue Cross’ efforts to do the same.”