Independence Blue Cross, Penn Medicine Join Forces To Improve Health Care

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The region’s largest insurer and largest provider have announced a partnership that officials call a “new era” in health care. Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine will work together trying to improve health care, while reducing costs.

For Blue Cross subscribers who are also Penn Medicine patients, expect a more concerted effort to keep you healthy: reminders about check-ups, follow-ups, prescription refills and better coordinated services. Dr. Anthony Coletta of Blue Cross says Penn will also provide a 30-day readmission guarantee on all inpatient treatment.

“That’s a ground-breaking move that’s emblematic of Penn Medicine’s willingness to share responsibility for the quality and cost of care,” Dr. Coletta said.

Coletta leads the insurer’s Facilitated Health Networks, which is charged with containing what Blue Cross regarded as unsustainable health care costs. Bringing Penn into the fold, under a five-year contract, is a major advance — and one that Penn Health CEO Ralph Muller embraces.

“We’re proud in this partnership to really be a leader both in this region and in the nation as to how to provide care,” Muller said.

Muller notes Penn already has the only integrated health records in the region. He says combining it with claims information will be a powerful way to identify patient needs.

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