Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Honored For Innovative Program That Helps Members Live Healthier Lives

(Providence, RI, 10.26.2010)

Consumer marketing campaign receives honorable mention

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) was awarded a Best of Blue Clinical Distinction Award for its efforts in providing high quality healthcare to members while it works to transform the local Rhode Island healthcare delivery system. The award was presented by The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, for its leadership role in transforming quality, safety, affordability and delivery of care to consumers.

The Quality Counts program, a five-year pilot project designed to facilitate electronic health record (EHR) adoption, transform physician practices and improve quality of care to members, was given a top honor. This innovative program recruited 80 primary care physicians to accept partial funding for an EHR system and implement a quality-based incentive program. Eight physicians also received additional funding for a case manager. Because of the program, EHR systems were adopted by all participating physician offices, transforming the way they practice medicine. Among those who employed case managers, significant improvement in diabetes care was demonstrated.

"We understand how difficult and disruptive it can be to transform a practice and we truly appreciate the providers who worked with us on a model that delivers high quality and cost effective care to Rhode Islanders," said Mary Hickey, RN, assistant vice president of Health Management and Integration at BCBSRI. "The Quality Counts program has provided the foundation for the spread of EHR adoption around the state and shaped our Patient Centered Medical Home project design where ‘pay for quality' strategies have been implemented by many primary care physicians using an electronic health record and an onsite case manager."

BCBSRI also was recognized with an honorable mention in the consumer market category of the Best of Blue Marketing Communications Awards for the launch of the Healthmate Coast-to-Coast® Direct 1000/2000, a new, innovative healthcare plan and the first of its kind in Rhode Island. The number of enrolled members exceeded the projection by 300 percent and a year-over-year 16 percent increase in open enrollment was achieved.

The Best of Blue Awards were presented in Chicago at the Association's Blue National Summit, a gathering of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans designed to share best practices and recognize programs that can lead to improvements in healthcare delivery throughout the country.

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.

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