CHICAGO, Dec. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) announced today that it has entered into an agreement with the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health), registered and operating as an Illinois Medicaid Accountable Care Entity, to begin serving its UI Health Plus members. The parties expect that as of January 1, 2016, UI Health Plus's Medicaid membership will become Blue Cross Blue Community® members, and enjoy the administrative and care management expertise of the state's largest health insurer. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois is a member-owned health plan founded in Chicago in 1936 that remains headquartered in the city.
"Agreements such as these serve both the taxpayers and patients," said Felicia Norwood, Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services. "It is part of the fiscally sustainable way Illinois is providing quality care for its vulnerable citizens."
"We welcome the opportunity to offer our members this program, as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois shares the same philosophy and approach to caring for and improving the health outcomes of our Medicaid patient population as we do," said UI Health's Jerry Bauman, Interim Vice President for Health Affairs. "In turn, our members will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that they can continue to have UI Health as their medical home. Our 100-plus primary care physicians and almost 600 specialists, who provide care at the University of Illinois Hospital, our outpatient clinics, or one of our 13 Mile Square Health Centers, will still serve as the health providers for this patient population. We'll also continue to deliver the care coordination for UI Health Plus Medicaid members, which allows us to focus on what we do best – provide quality care for our patients."
Karen Brach, Blue Cross's vice president for Illinois Medicaid plans added, "We see this agreement as an opportunity to work with an excellent example of successful Medicaid managed care. UI Health Plus's roughly 40,000 members will now have access to expanded benefits, and the security that comes with carrying a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois member card."
Brach added that she and her UI Health Plus counterparts are confident that the arrangement will strengthen both organizations' long-standing commitments to Chicago area communities and their residents.
About Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL)
With over 8 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 in Chicago, 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 care quality and patient outcomes. For more information, visit: www.bcbsil.com
About UI Health
The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System (UI Health) combines the resources of 7 health science colleges, a hospital, an urgent care center open evenings and weekends, an outpatient care center with 22 primary and specialty care clinics, and 13 Federally Qualified Health Centers (Mile Square Health Center) with locations throughout Chicago to provide a distinctive continuum of care. World renowned leaders in research paired with the most advanced technology help produce trials and allow for procedures not done anywhere else in the world. UI Health contains the largest and oldest continuously operating medical school in the country, which is why one out of every six physicians practicing in Illinois is trained at UI Health.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois