DURHAM, N.C. – Community Care Physician Network (CCPN) is joining Blue Premier, the value-based care program from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), in an agreement that offers financial and operational benefits to primary care practices and extends value-based care to members in rural and underserved areas of the state. The agreement takes effect January 1, 2021.
About 350 physician practices affiliated with CCPN, covering 70 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, are eligible to join Blue Premier. CCPN is a physician-led clinically integrated network of independent primary care clinicians that partners with Community Care of North Carolina, a nonprofit that provides care management and practice support services.
Adding CCPN to the Blue Premier lineup gives independently owned primary care practices in North Carolina yet another option for participating in value-based models. As primary care doctors gain access to more resources through Blue Premier, such as performance payments and data and analytics, patients benefit from better-coordinated care. Eight of the state’s largest health systems and their affiliated physician groups, plus more than 200 independent primary care practices, are in Blue Premier agreements that help them shift from traditional fee-for-service payments to value-based care.
“Collaborating with providers to deliver the best possible care and reduce costs is even more important as we navigate the pandemic and economic uncertainty,” said Von Nguyen, MD, Blue Cross NC chief medical officer. “Community Care Physician Network, together with Blue Premier, gives more North Carolinians access to high-quality, patient-centered care and a stronger relationship with their primary care doctor. And it helps CCPN physicians move to value so they can focus on what they do best – meeting the needs of their patients.”
“We are very pleased to be able to offer to CCPN members an agreement encompassing Blue Cross NC patients covered by Medicare Advantage and commercial plans through Blue Premier,” said CCPN Co-president Conrad L. Flick, MD. “This adds to our existing portfolio, including business with all five participating health plans in the North Carolina Medicaid Managed Care system that will launch in July. Through agreements like this, independent primary care physicians who join CCPN will not only be able to participate, but to thrive in value-based plans requiring complex quality metrics and acceptance of both up- and downside risk. CCPN will strive to provide the support independent physicians need to improve quality and be successful in this new environment.”
Under CCPN’s new Blue Premier agreement, eligible physician practices – including primary care and pediatrics practices – may join Blue Premier effective January 1, 2021.
Blue Premier is recognized as one of the most rapid and comprehensive shifts to value-based care in the nation by any health plan. Participating providers and Blue Cross NC are jointly accountable for meeting quality and cost measures. 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. Under risk-sharing, providers earn financial rewards for meeting quality and cost measures and are responsible for covering losses if they miss those benchmarks.
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 the program’s first year. Future expansion of the program will take value-based care to more areas of the state, especially rural communities.
Blue Cross NC launched Blue Premier in early 2019 and has continued with additional programs to help members get the best possible care through primary care practices. These programs include:
• Accelerate to Value, which offers financial support and a pathway to value-based care in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
• Advanced primary care practices designed for highly coordinated, patient-centered care
• An accountable care organization with Aledade, which helps independent practices transition to value-based care
• Expansion of Blue Premier, which started with five health care systems and now includes eight, including primary care practices affiliated with systems
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. Visit Blue Cross NC online at www.bluecrossnc.com.
About Community Care Physician Network
CCPN is a physician-led, clinically integrated network of more than 3,300 independent primary care clinicians in 973 practice locations across North Carolina. CCPN, a high performing network, has chosen Community Care of North Carolina to support its practices through analytics, care management and practice support. CCPN is committed to supporting practices across multiple payers and all value-based payment models.