9th Annual SAS Health and Life Sciences Executive Conference, Cary, NC (May 10, 2012) – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and SAS are collaborating to help health plans provide better, more personalized care and service to customers while holding down costs for individuals and employers. This new software from SAS will help health plans in creating products and services that are better matched to consumers’ specific health needs.
“In an industry that has not used insights to their fullest potential, BCBSNC and SAS are blazing a path to the future of health care. This SAS software will provide health plans with predictive models similar to those in other consumer-focused industries,” said SAS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Graham Hughes. “By better engaging customers, health plans can provide top-notch customer service and support. This will allow the health system to deliver consumer-focused patient care. Better care often means reduced costs – the health plan wins, the provider wins. Most importantly, the customer wins.”
The BCBSNC and SAS collaboration will use SAS® Analytics to enhance BCBSNC’s ability to identify customers who may benefit from programs to help improve health and to anticipate the most effective ways to engage those customers. For example, these tools may help BCBSNC determine the best way to encourage a customer to get a doctor-recommended colonoscopy, or to receive a flu shot. This information also will enable BCBSNC to develop new products, services and programs (and better tailor existing ones) to provide more value for customers. This could mean communicating with customers in the way they find most helpful or guiding them to better health outcomes – which saves customers and BCBSNC money. Additionally, BCBSNC will use these new insights to help guide prospective individual and group customers to the health plans and related services that will best meet their needs.
“Our work with SAS addresses an issue that’s at the crux of the health care challenges we face today: improving health in order to reduce costs for our customers,” said BCBSNC Chief Medical Officer Don Bradley. “Traditionally, we’ve based health plan designs and care management programs on conventional research. Now we can look through a new lens at readily available data to create health plans better targeted to consumers’ needs. And, more importantly, we can offer more personalized care management programs, which individuals are more likely to respond to – making it more likely that these efforts will improve their health.”  
This collaboration is sponsored by the SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights (CHAI) a health industry think tank focused on identifying novel ways of applying advanced analytics to the challenges facing the health and life sciences industries. In the year since its inception, CHAI has published industry-leading research on the transformative opportunities for health analytics within both health plans and health care providers, and fostered industry collaborations in areas such as adaptive clinical trials, bundled payment analytics and now, personalized health insurance.
“Personalization through the use of predictive analytics is rapidly gaining momentum across health and life sciences,” said Jason Burke, Managing Director of CHAI. “Consumers are increasingly expecting both health plans and providers to understand their individual health needs. They want a higher-quality, more informed experience, which we strongly believe produces better health outcomes.”
This announcement was made during the 9th Annual SAS Health Care and Life Sciences Executive Conference, held at SAS headquarters in Cary, NC.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is the leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.6 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 78 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through the support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina was named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Institute in 2012. BCBSNC has recently been recognized by Fortune magazine and Harvard Business Review for best practice in analytics. 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.
About the SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights
The SAS Center for Health Analytics and Insights (CHAI) is a strategy, research and incubation organization focused on innovative uses of advanced analytics across health and life sciences. Through multi-disciplinary collaborations and the world’s most powerful analytics software, CHAI helps organizations develop deeper patient insights, better medical outcomes, lower costs, and improved organizational performance.
SAS is the industry leader in health analytics software and services, delivering best-in-class solutions for improving medical care, strengthening financial performance, deepening customer relationships and pursuing medical innovations. AstraZeneca, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Kaiser Permanente, Healthways and McKesson are among the leading health care companies that use SAS. Visit SAS® for Life Sciences, SAS® for Health Care Providers and SAS® for Health Insurance for more information.
About SAS
SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 55,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®. SAS and all other SAS Institute Inc. product or service names are registered trademarks or trademarks of SAS Institute Inc. in the USA and other countries. ® indicates USA registration. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.  Copyright © 2012 SAS Institute Inc. All rights reserved.