Providing exceptional, lower-cost care for about 160,000 Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of North Carolina members, UNC Health Alliance ranks among the top performers in the Blue Premier alternative payment model.
Chapel Hill, N.C. – October 27, 2021 – UNC Health Alliance, the clinically integrated network and population health services organization of UNC Health, for a second consecutive year, saved millions for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and their members and earned the highest possible hospital and physician quality scores in the Blue PremierSM program.
UNC Health Alliance has participated in Blue Cross NC’s Blue Premier alternative payment model since 2019 and, over two years, has saved Blue Cross NC and their members nearly $60 million. In addition to financial savings, UNC Health Alliance’s provider network demonstrated excellence in the quality of care that patients receive, earning a 100% quality score for the second consecutive year. These results show that collaborative partnerships between payors and healthcare provider can lead to better outcomes and lower cost of care for patients and families whom they serve together.
UNC Health Alliance leverages a statewide network with more than 7,000 UNC Health and independent providers to better manage quality, cost, and access to care. “Our partnership with our community-based, independent providers is what makes us unique and helps provide more access for patients to primary and specialty care,” said Helen Rinaldi, System Director of Physician Engagement for UNC Health Alliance. “Our network practices align with our mission to make care more accessible and achieve high-quality patient outcomes at a lower cost.”
“Access to the right care, and coordinating between care teams has never been more important. This is the cornerstone of patient health and well-being, and includes taking care of patients where they are and according to their values, which can include their home,” said Dr. Mark Gwynne, President, UNC Health Alliance. “The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged how we deliver good care. Our clinicians and teams quickly pivoted to interfacing with patients through telemedicine for everything from medication refills, to preventive care, to providing more than 70 percent of behavioral health visits virtually.”
“We are investing our savings through Blue Premier in innovative ways to help patients and their families, including addressing social barriers that often contribute to poor health,” continued, Dr. Gwynne. “We’re also investing in our network practices to build care teams around their doctors, adopt enabling technology, and partner with hospitals and communities to provide the best care possible for patients.”
“Value care arrangements, like Blue Premier, focus on lowering out-of-pocket costs for the consumer and delivering preventive care and quality outcomes that keep patients healthy longer,” said Robb Malone, PharmD, Chief Operating Officer, UNC Health Alliance. “Over the year, our team helped patients complete about 150,000 crucial preventative services, including breast cancer screenings, colorectal screenings, hypertension control, and childhood immunizations.”
Through innovative programs like Blue Premier, UNC Health Alliance is changing how healthcare is delivered and paid for. Ensuring the highest quality outcomes for patients and families, while also finding ways to make healthcare more affordable is increasingly important. UNC Health Alliance is doing just that.
While saving costs for patients and the insurer, UNC Health Alliance distributes 80 percent of its earnings to their network providers and hospital partners to expand primary care and new ways to deliver the highest quality patient care. UNC Health Alliance then invests the remaining earnings in population health infrastructure that supports patients and communities with services such as case management, pharmacy, dieticians, community health workers, and in-home or telehealth services. UNC Health Alliance’s expanded services also help network practices with clinical quality improvement, analytics, and technologies to identify patients in need of additional support, align the right services to the right patient, and enhance its network practices’ ability to care for increasingly complex patient needs.
About UNC Health Alliance
UNC Health Alliance is UNC Health’s statewide, physician-led, clinically integrated network. It is transforming health care delivery and payment models on behalf of its provider network that includes community-based, independent physicians along with those affiliated with UNC Health. With a focus on population health management, UNC Health Alliance works closely with providers, employers, and payers to manage quality, cost, and access to care for those living and working in the organization’s service areas. For more information, please visit www.unchealthalliance.org.
About UNC Health
UNC Health is comprised of UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill, ranked consistently among the best medical centers in the country; the UNC School of Medicine, a nationally eminent research institution; Pardee UNC Health Care in Hendersonville; Chatham Hospital in Siler City; Johnston Health in Clayton and Smithfield; UNC Lenoir Health Carein Kinston; Wayne UNC Health Care in Goldsboro;Caldwell UNC Health Care in Lenoir; Nash UNC Health Care in Rocky Mount; UNC Rockingham Health Care in Eden, Onslow Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, UNC Health Southeastern in Lumberton, CarolinaEast in New Bern, UNC Health Blue Ridge in Morganton, UNC REX Healthcare and its provider network in Wake County; and the UNC Physicians Network. For more information, please visit www.unchealth.org.
BLUE CROSS®, BLUE SHIELD®, the Cross and Shield symbols, and service marks are marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.