December 8, 2011

Blue Cross and Baton Rouge General Physicians Announce Landmark Partnership for Quality, Affordable Healthcare

Health plan and physicians group agree to build a patient-centered medical home

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Baton Rouge General Physicians have signed a formal agreement to build a patient-centered medical home or PCMH—an innovative model of healthcare delivery that improves quality and lowers costs—the two organizations announced today.

"Blue Cross is endorsing the PCMH model as a solution for those who seek a highly coordinated, quality-focused approach that results in healthier, happier customers," said Mike Reitz, president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana.

"I am optimistic that medical homes similar to what we are establishing with the Baton Rouge General Physicians group are only the beginning of a healthcare delivery transformation," said Dr. Ken Phenow, chief medical officer at Blue Cross. "These models of care also will be the foundation for the future accountable care organizations or ACOs that the 2010 healthcare reform law recommends as a means to bend the cost curve while achieving high-value healthcare."

As the nation prepares for landmark changes in the U.S. healthcare system, Blue Cross has recognized the immediate need to improve healthcare payment and delivery. The patient-centered medical home is an innovative concept of healthcare delivery centered on a primary care physician who manages a patient's healthcare needs. This physician is accountable for coordinating the patient's care and is reimbursed based on outcomes and patient satisfaction, not just volume of services.

The medical home model of care encourages and strengthens the doctor-patient relationship by replacing episodic and reactive diseased-focused care with organized and proactive care focused on preventing disease and preserving health.

Baton Rouge General Physicians Chief Medical Officer Ed Jeffries, MD, said, "Dedicated to the highest standards for quality, innovation and compassionate care, Baton Rouge General Physicians is committed to working collaboratively with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana to enhance the services we provide our patients. We are proud to share in the patient-centered medical home (PCMH) effort to provide our communities new benefits that improve their health through leading-edge care concepts such as these."

Reitz said, "We're delighted to be able to work with a respected and innovative organization like the Baton Rouge General Physicians group to create a local example of how this PCMH approach can transform the way healthcare is delivered and paid for."

About Baton Rouge General Physicians
Baton Rouge General Physicians consists of more than 80 physicians, owned and operated under General Health System. Baton Rouge General Physicians offers individuals and families throughout the Capital Area top-quality healthcare in convenient locations from Livingston to Brusly. For more information, visit www.BRGPhysicians.com.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a private, fully taxed mutual company, owned by policyholders—not shareholders—and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.3 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,900 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company's website at www.bcbsla.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluecrossla. Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BCBSLA and CEO Mike Reitz at www.twitter.com/MikeReitzCEO.