Horizon of New Jersey's PCMH lowers costs by 9 percent

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey had 9 percent lower costs for its members who received care from patient-centered medical homes (PCMH) compared to members getting treatment from traditional doctor practices, the Newark, New Jersey-based insurer announced.

About 750,000 of Horizon's 3.8 million members participate in its PCMH, which began in 2011. Horizon found that that it is saving money as its PCMH members have had an 8 percent lower rate of hospital admissions, 5 percent lower rate of emergency room visits and 9 percent lower total cost of care.

"The promise of patient-centered, or value-based, care to deliver better quality care at a lower cost is no longer theoretical, it's a reality," Horizon BCBSNJ CEO Robert Marino said in the statement. "The 2014 results further demonstrate how doctors, hospitals and Horizon are innovating and transforming healthcare to ensure patients receive more coordinated, better quality care at a lower cost."

When compared with members in traditional practices, Horizon found that its PCMH members had a 6 percent higher rate in improved diabetes control, 7 percent higher rate in cholesterol management for diabetic patients and 8 percent higher rate in colorectal cancer screenings.

"It's working," Erin Zielinski, practice manager for Marc Feingold, M.D., a primary care doctor in New Jersey, told Asbury Park Press. "We're tracking our patients a lot better with the program. We're able to make sure they're getting the screenings they need. As far as catching illness earlier, we're doing it."

CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield has found similar success with its PCMH, which cost $345 million less than expected in its fourth year of operation, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

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