BOISE, Idaho, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Regence BlueShield of Idaho has entered into a new collaborative effort with St. Luke's Health System to improve the health of patients and their care experience by better coordinating their care within the health delivery system. In this new delivery model, called the Healthy U CoPartner Program, physicians and nurses work closely with Regence patients who have multiple health conditions to engage them more in their treatment plans, promote lifestyle adjustments, and improve their overall health. By delivering highly-personalized and coordinated care, the program aims to avoid unnecessary duplication and reduce overall costs.
"Studies have shown that 5 percent of the population with the most complex and extensive medical conditions account for almost half of health care spending in the U.S.," said Scott Kreiling, president of Regence BlueShield of Idaho. "If we can help those patients better manage their conditions, we can reduce the overall cost of care and improve their quality of life. This program is designed to do just that."
Regence has partnered with other providers and employers in Washington and Oregon in the past to implement similar initiatives, collectively referred to as Intensive Outpatient Care Programs (IOCP). One such pilot program between Regence BlueShield of Idaho's affiliated plan in Washington and one of its large customers showed the following positive results as reported by an independent third party vendor:
- Per-capita spending on health care was reduced by 20 percent
- Physical and mental functioning ability increased almost 15 percent
- Access to health care increased almost 18 percent
St. Luke's recognizes the benefits of this proven approach as a way to better coordinate care for patients and has been working collaboratively with Regence to enhance and tailor the model developed in other states to meet the specific needs of patients in Idaho.
"St. Luke's is focused on delivering the triple aim of better health, better care and lower costs to our patients and our communities," said Dr. David Pate, president and CEO for St. Luke's Health System. "We're pleased to work with Regence to implement this new program that allows us to effectively support patients in accessing the care they need, when they need it in a coordinated manner. It is through efforts like these that we can truly improve the health of the people in Idaho. The population will not become healthier and health care costs will not be contained by doing more of the same old things. We need innovative solutions and we need physicians, hospitals, and insurance companies working together with patients to be successful. St. Luke's Health System and Regence are leaders of innovation in Idaho and by working together; we are now positioned to improve health, deliver even better care, and lower health care costs for our communities."
Regence members who meet specific criteria and agree to enroll in the program will be assigned their own individual Nurse Care Coordinator (NCC) who will advocate for the patient, and act as a health coach utilizing active listening and reflective problem solving skills. The NCC will be part of the health care team working in concert with the patient's physician to coordinate care with specialists and between different locations of care. Through the program, the patient and the Nurse Care Coordinator build a relationship based on trust, and work together with the patient's physician to develop action plans designed to meet individual health improvement goals.
Regence members enrolled in the program will also have their co-payment or coinsurance waived for the initial visit with their clinical care team and will be encouraged to participate on an ongoing basis to ensure consecutive care progress is tracked over time for all their health care needs.
About Regence BlueShield of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho is a leading health plan in Idaho with nearly 160,000 members, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence BlueShield of Idaho is a nonprofit mutual insurance company and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence BlueShield of Idaho is affiliated with Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Together, the companies serve more than two million members in the Northwest/Intermountain Region. The Regence affiliated companies are committed to improving the health of its members and communities and to transforming the health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or www.twitter.com/RegenceIdaho.
About St. Luke's Health System
St. Luke's Health System is Idaho's largest and only locally controlled healthcare system, employing more than 10,000 people. With hospitals in Boise, Meridian, Twin Falls, Ketchum, McCall and Jerome, St. Luke's provides patients with unmatched care in specialized medical fields, including cancer, heart and vascular, obstetrics, women's services and children's health care. To find out more, visit www.stlukesonline.org.
SOURCE Regence BlueShield of Idaho; St. Luke's Health System