CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The state’s leading health insurer and the state’s health care system will collaborate to develop a completely new type of medical practice in which patients – not just their symptoms – are the focus of care. This advanced medical practice will extend beyond what is currently called the ‘medical home’ and will enable teams of health care providers to work collaboratively with patients and families in delivering high quality, coordinated care. BCBSNC and UNC Health Care expect the new practice, which will likely be located in Orange or Durham county, to open in the fourth quarter of 2011.
This venture would be the first product of what BCBSNC and UNC Health Care expect will be an ongoing collaboration in which they work together to enhance health care quality, improve efficiency and effectiveness, and reduce healthcare costs.
“The team approach to care emphasizes patient involvement and allows more time for clinical interaction and patient education and support,” said BCBSNC President and CEO Brad Wilson. “We believe this approach will result in improved health and fewer complications – both of which will help control rising health care costs.”
“We’re in an era of change in health care, so let’s work together to make positive change,” said Dr. William L. Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care. “This innovative approach with education, patient support and self-management is one important step toward making health care less mysterious and more effective.”
The practice will care for 5,000 BCBSNC members focusing on patients with chronic conditions, including coronary artery disease, hypertension, diabetes, obstructive lung disease, major depression, and asthma.
The new practice will provide continuity by coordinating care across a variety of settings and provider types. The practice is designed to enable more effective patient-provider interactions, which should result in better patient satisfaction and improved health. Additionally, this practice will provide an expanded set of services and greatly enhanced access to these services including:
- Non-traditional visit formats (e-visits, televisits, home monitoring)
- On-site mental health
- On-site nutritionist
- On-site pharmacy and medication management
- On-site laboratory
- Case management and coordination of care for patients requiring hospitalization
- Group and educational visits
- Extended weekday and weekend hours
- State-of-the-art information technology
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 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 77 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 bcbsnc.com.
About UNC Health Care:
The UNC Health Care System is a not-for-profit integrated health care system owned by the state of North Carolina and based in Chapel Hill. It exists to further the teaching mission of the University of North Carolina and to provide state-of-the-art patient care. UNC Health Care is comprised of UNC Hospitals, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; community practices; home health and hospice services in seven central North Carolina counties; and Rex Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County. Although this new practice will only provide care for BCBSNC members, UNC Health Care’s other physician offices, hospitals and facilities will continue to provide care for patients with all types of insurance and those without insurance.