Bassett and Excellus Partner

November 1, 2014

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield and Bassett Healthcare Network today announced an Accountable Cost and Quality Arrangement (ACQA) intended to enhance care and provide higher value to patients. Excellus and Bassett are also expanding access to quality, affordable health insurance options on the New York Health Exchange by adding a Bassett Select Silver product and expanding the Bassett Gold Select product to Oneida County. As of January 1, 2015, both products will be available through the Exchange to individuals living in Delaware, Herkimer, Oneida and Otsego counties.

Seniors in Delaware and Otsego counties will also have access to a new Medicare Advantage product, Medicare Bassett PPO. Medicare’s annual enrollment period started October 15 and ends December 7.

“Working with health systems like Bassett Healthcare Network allows us to redefine the relationship between insurers and providers,” said Christopher Booth, chief executive officer, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “With new and expanded Bassett health plan offerings, we can offer the community access to high-quality affordable health care at a lower price point than many other products in the market. Further, the ACQA recognizes that Excellus as a payer and Bassett as a provider have a shared accountability for quality, cost and better health outcomes.”

This innovative alliance is designed to achieve enhanced care coordination, improve patient satisfaction and outcomes, and reduce health care costs. It emphasizes value over volume. Toward that end, incentives are based on achievement of quality; not volume of services. The goal of such agreements is to make everyone in the health care delivery system – patients, health care providers and health insurance companies – responsible stewards of health care dollars.

“Bassett’s collaboration with Excellus aligns perfectly with our pursuit of the New York State Triple Aim of improving the health of our communities, better care and experience of care , and lower costs,” noted Dr. Vance Brown, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “We will benchmark ourselves, tracking 16 quality and efficiency measures for the care and outcomes of 15,000-20,000 individuals. Achieving those performance benchmarks means patients benefit from more coordinated and enhanced care, while we also improve outcomes and lower costs through reduced utilization. Our collective intent is to be able to partner with clinicians and hospitals who also share these same aims.”

As a comprehensive, integrated network of six hospitals, community-based health centers, skilled nursing facilities and various health partners, Bassett is ideally positioned for the accountable care partnership with Excellus. Bassett’s network-wide electronic health record system promotes the use of evidence-based practices and provides real time information to providers as well as actionable data that make quality improvement easier. As a result, the collaboration will:

  • Increase physician-patient engagement to better coordinate care and improve the care experience and outcomes,
  • Improve quality of care, 
  • Align payment with quality, patient outcomes and value. 

In addition, the goals of delivering better health care quality and avoiding unnecessary costs can be achieved through such efforts as improving access to primary care (to manage chronic illnesses such as diabetes and reduce the need for emergency room visits), improving medication adherence rates and limiting duplication of services.

Individuals interested in the new and expanded insurance products may learn more by visiting the state’s online health insurance exchange, contacting Excellus BlueCross BlueShield or a licensed broker.

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