Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island and Care New England Sign Letter of Intent for 2013 and Beyond

(8.9.2012)
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PROVIDENCE, RI – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (Blue Cross) and Care New England (CNE) today announced that they have agreed to reopen their contract one year early to create a partnership that will further improve healthcare delivery and patient health, while slowing increases in healthcare costs.  The Letter of Intent (LOI) creates a long-term strategic partnership designed to provide members with an innovative model of care that more quickly advances health system transformation in Rhode Island.

Aligning with the triple aim of improving care delivery, making the health of the population better and controlling healthcare costs, this new arrangement will begin to move the parties away from payment methodologies that incent volume to those that reward improved patient outcomes and quality.  The current contractual agreement between Blue Cross and CNE does contain payments tied to CNE’s participation in Blue Cross’ hospital quality program, but the new LOI outlines a five-year schedule where greater percentages of the annual payment increases between the parties are tied to meeting the quality measures.  In addition, the LOI calls for other innovative provisions which will advance the role of the primary care physician and pilot the development of a new model of ob/gyn care for our community.
 
In all, Blue Cross and Care New England will champion many of the underpinnings of healthcare reform, including a patient-centric model of care that includes not only physical but behavioral health needs, integrates preventive and wellness services, coordinates care through multi-disciplinary and community oriented teams, encompasses best practices in clinical care and evidence-based medicine, supports health record integration, and positions the primary care physician at the center of health care delivery.  
 
“As the leading, nonprofit health insurer in Rhode Island, Blue Cross is committed to working collaboratively with all stakeholders to improve the health of our community,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, president and CEO of Blue Cross.  “We are excited about this new partnership with CNE, which will enable us to work collaboratively with CNE and its affiliated medical staffs to advance the creation of an integrated delivery system in Rhode Island, while providing our members with access to affordable healthcare.“
 
“Change in the new era of health reform needs to be transformational,” said Dennis D. Keefe, president and CEO of CNE.  “We believe the action we are taking today will help pave way for a new system of care in Rhode Island – one which advances an enhanced patient experience, advances public health, and improves the affordability of health care for the business community.”
 
Andruszkiewicz continued, “Blue Cross is committed to working closely with enlightened provider partners who agree that the future of healthcare will focus on close coordination among healthcare professionals and hospitals.  These care teams will be rewarded based on their ability to improve health, satisfy their patients and make care more affordable.  By working together in this strategic partnership, Blue Cross and CNE have committed to making every effort to improve the quality of life in our community, while helping to moderate the cost of healthcare for Rhode Islanders.”
 
About Care New England
Care New England, located in Rhode Island, was founded in 1996 by Butler Hospital, Kent Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital.  Its mission is dedicated to building an exemplary health care system.  With 643 licensed beds, approximately 6,880 employees, and 1,527 active medical staff members, Care New England is among Rhode Island’s largest private companies.  The system includes primary care and specialty physicians; two teaching hospitals affiliated with Brown Medical School, Butler and Women & Infants; a community hospital, Kent; a visiting nurse and home care agency, the VNA of Care New England; and Care New England Wellness Center.  For more information, visit carenewengland.org.
 
About Blue Cross
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  For more information, visit www.BCBSRI.com.
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