DURHAM, N.C., and ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and Mission Health have signed new long-term agreements, strengthening the collaboration between the two organizations and giving Blue Cross NC members in Western North Carolina access to the benefits of value-based care. The agreements bring Mission Health into the Blue Premier value-based care program and the Healthy Blue Medicaid provider network.

As a result of the new agreements, Blue Cross NC and Mission Health will work together more closely for high-quality, better-coordinated, more-affordable care. Blue Cross NC members across 20 counties in Western North Carolina will benefit from the care they receive at Mission Health providers and facilities, including six hospitals and more than 1,000 physicians.

Under its new value-based care contract, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2022, Mission Health becomes the latest health care system to join Blue Premier, Blue Cross NC’s value-based care program. Blue Cross NC is changing health care through groundbreaking Blue Premier collaborations with hospitals and physicians. Providers are paid for delivering quality, cost-effective care, not for the number of tests and procedures they perform. Eight of the state’s 10 largest health systems are now in Blue Premier.

With the new Medicaid agreement, executed by Mission Health Partners on behalf of its participating providers, Mission Health now is in-network for Blue Cross NC’s Healthy Blue plan for Medicaid members. Blue Cross NC is one of five prepaid health plans in North Carolina that started enrolling members on March 15. Medicaid members will begin to receive health care services under the state’s Medicaid transformation program on July 1, 2021.

“These new agreements show that Blue Cross NC and Mission Health share the same goals for our members: health care that is better, simpler and more affordable,” said Dr. Tunde Sotunde, Blue Cross NC president and CEO. “We value the great working relationship we have with Mission Health as both organizations strive to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve.”

“Mission Health is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of the citizens of Western North Carolina,” said Greg Lowe, president, Mission Health, HCA Healthcare North Carolina Division. “We are enthusiastic for the opportunity to collaborate on this program that focuses on quality of care for the communities we are proud to serve.” 

Blue Premier Expands Across North Carolina
Mission Health joins a growing list of health care providers with Blue Premier agreements, including 11 health systems and more than 870 independent primary care practices across the state. The systems in Blue Premier account for about 65 percent of Blue Cross NC’s total annual spending on hospital care, marking rapid growth in value-based care since the program’s launch in early 2019.

Blue Premier is recognized as one of the most rapid and comprehensive shifts to value-based care in the nation by any health plan. Blue Premier agreements cover multiple years and build toward shared financial risk between Blue Cross NC and providers, which sets the program apart from other value-based care arrangements. When providers and insurers are aligned on their goals, patients see better, simpler and more affordable health care. Providers in Blue Premier collaborated with Blue Cross NC to generate an estimated $153 million in cost savings, quality improvements and a slowdown in the rate of spending on health care in 2019, the program’s first year.

More Providers Serving Medicaid Members in Healthy Blue
The addition of Mission Health to Blue Cross NC’s Healthy Blue provider network expands access to health care for the state’s Medicaid population. Blue Cross NC has enrolled its first members in Healthy Blue, its Medicaid managed care plan, and has developed a provider network with more than 48,000 physicians and other practitioners, including most of the state’s hospitals and health systems. The enrollment of members into Healthy Blue is part of a significant milestone for North Carolina as the state’s Medicaid program transitions to managed care.

Any reference in this press release to any person, organization, activity, or services related to North Carolina Medicaid does not constitute or imply the endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) is committed to making health care better, simpler, and more affordable. We have been driving better health in North Carolina since 1933, working to tackle our communities’ greatest health challenges. Blue Cross NC serves its customers and communities of more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1.1 million on behalf of other Blue Plans. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

About Mission Health
Mission Health, located in Asheville, North Carolina, serves as the regional tertiary and quaternary care center in Western North Carolina and the adjoining region. Mission Hospital is licensed for 815 beds and is the region’s only Level II trauma center, comprehensive stroke center, Level III neonatal intensive care unit, and includes the only children’s hospital in Western North Carolina. Mission Hospital is also a Magnet® designated hospital for nursing excellence. For more information, please visit missionhealth.org or @MissionHealthNC.