CHICAGO, May 24, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) and the University of Chicago Medicine announce they are launching an oncology intensive medical home (IMH) program – only the second in Illinois. IMHs are a value-based care model that is part of BCBSIL's larger vision to lower health care costs while improving accessibility and quality of care.
The UCMedicine IMH will treat qualifying BCBSIL PPO patients receiving chemotherapy for a cancer diagnosis of breast, colon, lung, pancreatic, prostate and any non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
The overall goal of the oncology IMH is to provide coordinated, cost-effective care, in part, through the use of evidence-based medical treatment guidelines.
"In conjunction with the oncologists at UCMedicine, we will be utilizing the latest evidence-based treatment protocols that will improve the quality of cancer care for our members," said Opella Ernest, M.D., divisional senior vice president of Health Care Delivery and Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. "Clinical pathways like the NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines ®) incorporate the evidence from clinical studies and the recommendations of research scientists into treatment protocols for the various types and stages of cancer."
Under the IMH value-based care model, provider reimbursement is associated with meeting quality or performance measures as opposed to the traditional fee-for-service model. Value-based care utilizes incentives to engage health care professionals and help facilitate improved health, affordability and customer experience.
"Health care is moving away from a model where we are simply paid for what we do to one where we are held accountable for the quality of care we provide," said Blase Polite, MD, MPP, associate professor of medicine and chief quality officer for cancer at the University. "The University of Chicago Medicine prides itself on achieving the highest quality of care. This agreement allows BCBSIL and University of Chicago to work together to show how a cancer payment model built on quality of care can work to both lower costs and improve patient care."
The BCBSIL intensive medical home programs initially focused on large primary care physician groups and have expanded to include hospitals, small primary care practices and specialists. The first BCBSIL specialty intensive medical home was launched in 2014 with the Illinois Gastroenterology Group and the first oncology intensive medical home was launched in early 2016 with Illinois Cancer Specialists.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
With more than 8.1 million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. Begun in 1936, BCBSIL remains member owned rather than publicly traded and is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities, fostering greater access to care, and working to lower the overall cost of care while improving health care quality and patient outcomes.
About University of Chicago Medical Center
The National Cancer Institute designated the University of Chicago as one of only two Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Illinois. In addition, the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer awarded the medical center a three-year accreditation with commendation. The Cancer Center earned the highest overall rating in seven areas, including prevention and early detection, outcomes analysis, and cancer-related quality improvements.
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois