Blue Shield of California will invest $30 million to support a new technology initiative in collaboration with the California Medical Association (CMA) to help doctors help patients.
The multi-year financial commitment by Blue Shield is one of a number of investments and initiatives the non-profit health insurance plan has launched recently to help bring health care into the digital age. The initiatives support a new health care model envisioned by Blue Shield that gives Californians access to quality, comprehensive and sustainably affordable care that improves the health of individuals and their communities.
“Physicians are over-burdened with administrative work and are suffering from burnout at an alarming rate,” said Jeff Bailet, M.D., Blue Shield’s executive vice president of Heath Care and Quality Assurance. “We want to alleviate the burden of practice so that physicians can focus on providing optimal care for their patients.”
The CMA collaboration begins with two pilot projects in Monterey and Butte counties. The plan is to develop a new technology infrastructure for administrative services to help physicians focus their attention on care delivery, rather than paper work.
The goal is for Blue Shield and CMA to scale the projects statewide with a focus on supporting independent physician practices.
“CMA is proud to collaborate with Blue Shield to bring California’s health care system further into the modern age,” said CMA President Theodore M. Mazer, M.D.
“This innovative pilot project will utilize state-of-the-art technology to build a new health care model that expands and streamlines patient access to care while reducing administrative work. I would like to thank Blue Shield for recognizing the importance of investing in this effort to improve patient treatment, while reducing overwhelming administrative burdens, freeing physicians to be doctors rather than data entry technicians. We can, in this manner, create personal 21st century care.”
Blue Shield and CMA will announce more details about the project as they firm up their plans in the coming months, including input and participation by physicians in the local communities.
“This new pilot project will greatly improve patient care by utilizing technology to better meet the needs of patients in Butte County,” said former CMA President and Paradise Medical Group CEO Richard Thorp, M.D. “By streamlining administrative burdens for physicians and improving the delivery of high quality care, this pilot project will enable physicians to focus more on treating patients rather than paperwork and make it easier for small practices that serve rural areas to continue to provide care to our community.”
Added Maximallano Cuevas, M.D., Monterey County Medical Society President, ““This is an opportunity to work with our partners to explore putting in place a health care delivery system that removes the fragmentation of care that currently exists and replaces it with a system that easily coordinates care between physicians, hospitals, emergency departments and social service agencies.”
Earlier this year, Blue Shield announced it is taking steps toward providing its members access to patient-centered care by expanding its suite of home-based care programs. For example, Blue Shield’s nationally-recognized in-home palliative care is now available in all 58 California counties.
Also this year, Blue Shield and Gemini Health announced a new drug-price transparency service for prescribers and patients that provides real-time, patient specific cost information on their prescriptions and alternative drugs during the doctor visit.
Find our news release on the Blue Shield of California and CMA collaboration click here.