Horizon medical home lowers costs, boosts preventive care

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is transforming healthcare delivery models and lowering costs through its patient-centered medical home program, which it announced Wednesday already has begun reducing hospitalizations and increasing preventive care, among other benefits.

Comparing how care was provided to the 70,000 PCMH members with non-PCMH members, New Jersey's largest insurer said the program provided "impressive improvements in care and reduced costs," according to an announcement.

Those benefits include a 5 percent higher rate in improved diabetes control, 3 percent higher rate in breast cancer screenings and 11 percent improvement in pneumonia vaccinations. What's more, Horizon's PCMH achieved a 23 percent lower rate in hospital admissions, a 12 percent drop in emergency room visits and a 9 percent lower cost of care for diabetic patients.

Horizon was able to realize those improvements because its program, which originally launched in 2011, partners with doctors who actively improve care coordination and promote preventive and wellness care with their patients. To help facilitate and motivate doctors, Horizon provides additional funds for them to hire staff to coordinate care, plus they offer bonuses for doctors whose patients reach certain targets.

"It continues to validate the work that we're doing, the collaboration, really, with primary care practices," Steven Peskin, senior medical director of clinical innovations for Horizon, told Asbury Park Press.

To learn more:
- here's the Horizon statement
- read the Asbury Park Press article

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