• BCBSNC’s latest Accountable Care Organization (ACO) launches with Cornerstone Health Care
  • The collaboration will benefit patients in 116 medical practice locations across 11 central North Carolina counties
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and Cornerstone Health Care, an independent, nationally accredited patient-centered medical home network and a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved participant in the Medicare Shared Savings Program, are launching an Accountable Care Organization (ACO).  The two companies are collaborating to improve the primary care experience for thousands of BCBSNC customers and Cornerstone patients in 116 medical practice locations across 11 central North Carolina counties. This is BCBSNC’s fourth ACO agreement, joining a list of other collaborations that benefits patients in the Wilmington, Fayetteville and Triangle areas.
BCBSNC customers in Cornerstone’s network will benefit from a coordinated team of health care professionals focusing on the overall health of the patient.  The Cornerstone care team includes Health Navigators and Patient Care Advocates who actively reach out to patients to make sure their care stays on track.  Working closely with at-risk patients to help manage their care on an ongoing basis allows the Health Navigators and Patient Care Advocates to identify opportunities for medication changes or other minimal interventions that can help avoid complications and prevent hospital stays.
The new ACO will be available to patients effective May 1, 2013 and will focus on delivering the following benefits for Cornerstone’s patients and BCBSNC customers:
  • Care that is centered on patients to offer a better patient experience through enhanced coordination and teamwork across the health care system
  • Extended business hours for primary care visits
  • Access to Health Navigators and Patient Care Advocates who will help patients navigate a complex health care system
  • Lower overall health care costs as a result of improved efficiencies, preventative care efforts and greater levels of primary care access and services
“Working with Cornerstone gives us the opportunity to build on a model of care that provides better coordination and health outcomes for our customers,” said Lisa Cade, vice president of network management at BCBSNC.  “With this new initiative, we’ll continue to take what we’ve learned from the medical home model a few steps further to improve the health of patients with chronic health issues or significant health risks.”
Cornerstone and BCBSNC will work together to ensure patients get the right care in the right setting to reduce unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency room visits. BCBSNC and practices across the network will also share valuable data to help provide a better patient care experience at a lower cost. 
“With this collaboration with BCBSNC, Cornerstone now has value-based agreements for 100% of our insurance contracts,” said Grace E. Terrell, president and CEO of Cornerstone. “This approach focuses on the whole patient with a team that includes doctors, nutritionists, health coaches and social workers. It will increase patient engagement and ensure patients are receiving appropriate care and screenings. Our goal is to achieve better health outcomes and to prevent more costly treatments or hospitalizations for our patients.” 
BCBSNC is collaborating with others to improve health care quality while reining in medical costs. To learn about other initiatives underway, visit www.LetsTalkCost.com/Solutions.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.74 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For generations, 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 was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012 and 2013. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
About Cornerstone Health Care:
One of the fastest growing physician groups in the Southeast, Cornerstone Health Care is a physician-owned and led multi- disciplinary practice of more than 365 physicians and mid-level health professionals in over 116 practice locations in communities throughout central North Carolina. Recognized as a 2012 Success Story Award® winner for patient satisfaction by Press Ganey Associates, Inc., Cornerstone is transitioning from the traditional "fee-for-service"
model to a patient-centered medical home system providing expanded access, increased coordination of care, enhanced patient education for prevention and treatment of chronic disease, and sophisticated technological support. For more information, visit www.cornerstonehealth.com.