Blue Cross and Blue Shield, WFBMC launch new center

Blue Cross stock photo (AP)

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have teamed up to form the Center for Healthcare Innovation aimed at improving the quality of health care and the health of people in North Carolina.

“This collaboration allows us to think creatively about transforming the way patients receive care, doctors and hospitals provide care, and insurance companies pay for care,” said Dr. Susan Weaver, vice president of health delivery redesign for Blue Cross. “Technology and data are rapidly changing the way we live and work but health care has been slow to harness these tools.”

Weaver said that there is a need for more investments in new business models that are value-based and patient-centered.

Terry G. Williams, executive vice president of the strategy and network development at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, called the collaboration a “perfect example of the type of investment in innovation needed to respond to the economic challenges faced by patients, health care providers and insurers.”

The Center for Healthcare Innovation will primarily focus on:

 Testing new ways of delivering and coordinating health care at home to reduce the length of a patient’s stay in the hospital and the likelihood that the patient will be readmitted to the hospital or return to the emergency department.

 Exploring opportunities to rein in health care costs and improve access and ease use of health care services for patients through more efficient administrative processes.

 Piloting programs that will promote efficient use of health care services by Blue Cross customers and encourage use of preventative services for better long-term health.

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