Regional insurer CareFirst reports patient-centered program custs costs, improves care

About 60 percent of the doctor practices that are participating in a special patient-oriented program from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield have save on health care costs and improved care, the insurer said Thursday.

Those were the goals of the patient-centered medical home iniitative, according to CareFirst, which launched the program in January 2011 as the state was forming its own similar program.

The practices earned increased reimbursements from CareFirst based on the savings they achieved against the projected care costs for 2011 for the insurer’s members. They also were rewarded for achieving levels of quality care for their patients. They will be paid in the form of increased fee reimbursements for certain primary care services beginning July 1 and continuing through June 30, 2013.

About 3,600 primary care providers now participate in CareFirst’s program. And about 150 of the 250 eligible practices earned the extra reimbursements.

The practices achieved the results by coordinating care for the sickest patients, developing online care plans for patients, collecting data on patient populations and identifying opportunities for care improvement and cost savings and other steps.

CareFirst President and CEO Chet Burrell said in a statement that he was encouraged by the results.

“We are still in the early stages of an effort that requires new ways of delivering care,” he said. “The first year of the program demonstrates to primary care providers that we recognize the critical role they can play in improving care and meaningfully reducing costs over the long-term.”

Copyright © 2018, CT Now