Delivering quality care in the most cost effective manner that improves the patient experience is the concept behind a patient-focused care reimbursement agreement between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) and Think Whole Person Healthcare.
"We are excited to offer this option for our members,” Dr. Joann Schaefer, BCBSNE chief medical officer and senior vice president, said. “Studies have shown that the stronger a patient’s ties are to his primary care physician, the better the quality and efficiency of the care.”
Think Whole Person Healthcare is a physician-led organization that serves the Omaha metro area. It is one of the largest independent primary care practices in the United States with 25 physicians serving 48,000 patients working in a team environment that integrates pharmaceutical care, clinicians such as podiatrists, physical therapists, dentists, audiologists, optometrists and case management teams including care coordinators and managers.
Think Whole Person Healthcare CEO Fergus Hoban said: “This is why Think exists. Already in the short six months we have been open, we have seen healthcare costs for our patients drop significantly through our team-based approach. Our patients, particularly those with chronic conditions, are seeing quality care that keeps them on therapeutic goal, improves their lifestyle and lowers the cost of their care.
“For example, our pharmaceutical care teams, working with our physicians, have reviewed over 4,000 patients’ medications for effectiveness, safety and cost. In the majority of cases this has led to patients staying healthier, being more compliant and often paying less for their medications.”
“This agreement endorses that approach and demonstrates that our triple aim of keeping patients healthier, improving their experience of healthcare while lowering their costs gives true accountability to those that matter most – our patients,” Mr. Hoban added.
Under the agreement Think physicians will be transitioned from a fee-for-service model to one that holds them accountable for patient outcomes that keep patients healthy and lowers costs.
In a patient-focused care environment the care is delivered in the primary care setting, which includes services such as disease management and preventive care. The patient is surrounded by a care team including physicians, pharmacists, clinical case managers and coordinators all working collaboratively to ensure greater consistency for the patient – keeping the patient out of the hospital and improving overall health. Essentially, the model helps align incentives toward prevention and improved outcomes.