Jefferson Health, Independence Blue Cross Sign 5-Year Agreement

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Jefferson Health and Independence Blue Cross are touting their new five-year agreement as a model for health care reform. They’re saying it will improve quality and lower costs – regardless of what happens in Washington.

Jefferson president Stephen Klasko says he believes the moves the health system is making, such as disease management programs, tele-treatment, and outcome based payments are things all providers will have to do eventually.

“We said, ‘let’s put, frankly, pressure on ourselves.’ That’s hardly ever done partly because there’s a lot of work to get done and there’s a lot at stake. They have to start less for the insurance they give. In order for that to happen, we have to give more care for less money,” said Klasko.

Klasko actually engaged a mummer’s band for the ceremonial signing of the agreement at the hospital. He says that’s because it’s another case of Philadelphia doing its own thing.

“So people hopefully will come to Philadelphia and say, ‘wow, they weren’t forced to do it and they actually did it.’ Maybe well get Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi to come here and we’ll have a kumbaya moment and it will be a beautiful thing,” said Klasko.

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