CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – With the use of high-tech diagnostic imaging procedures, such as MRI and CT scans, growing at a rate of nearly 25 percent annually1 focusing on the right test at the right time for patients can save critical time and money. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is launching a new program that will seek to improve health care quality through the use of non-urgent outpatient, high-tech diagnostic imaging services.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the third health insurer in the state to implement a diagnostic imaging management program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have also announced an effort to look more closely at MRIs and other diagnostic tests ordered under federal programs.
Under the new BCBSNC program, to be launched in February 2007, ordering physicians can pre-authorize outpatient diagnostic imaging services via a brief phone call or at a secure website. This will ensure that requested services are in line with accepted medical criteria and guidelines for diagnostic testing. BCBSNC has contracted with American Imaging Management, Inc. (AIM) to manage this program.
BCBSNC has already familiarized physician groups with the program and will be conducting informational seminars for providers at facilities across the state. "We recognize that advances in imaging are important and our program will make sure that this technology is utilized in the most beneficial manner," said Dr. Eugenie Komives, BCBSNC senior medical director. "We've been talking with provider organizations for several months, seeking their input. This new program has been designed with ease of use in mind for both the customer and physician. The majority of authorizations will be determined in just a few minutes. The program will not impact emergency procedures."
1Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina claims data.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.4 million members, including approximately 748,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 73 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Access BCBSNC online at