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Blue Cross and Blue Shield Initiatives Recognized for Increasing Patient Safety and Efficiency
Date:9/10/2007

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) understands that implementing health information technology requires a level of commitment, financial support and buy-in from many levels of the healthcare community. With this understanding, BCBSMA implemented a suite of interventions. BCBSMA offers a reimbursement program for providers who use technology to provide e-visits (defined as online, non-urgent consultations between patients and the physicians).

Additionally, BCBSMA formed the e-Rx Collaborative with two other insurers. Collectively, the e-Rx Collaborative provides free e-prescribing devices, service(s) and software to more than 2,500 providers - one of the largest e-prescribing projects nationwide. During the first three and a half years, 10.8 million electronic prescriptions were transmitted through the Collaborative.

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield collaborates with DrFirst, a healthcare software company, to equip 275 providers with an e-prescribing tool. Participating providers are given a wireless-enabled PDA (personal digital assistant) equipped with e-prescribing software to electronically send prescriptions to their patient's pharmacy. In 2006, participating providers registered a total of 550,000 prescription transactions that resulted in 15,000 drug interaction warnings and 7,400 drug allergy warnings being delivered to physicians. If some or all of these prescription transactions went unnoticed, the patient's health or life could have been jeopardized. CareFirst estimates that the warnings to physicians produced $1.6 million in savings.

Member Experience and Efficiency Improvements

WellPoint's client-facing programs use one of three separate data collection and documentation systems. Often times, communications between providers and the insurer are done by e-mail or fax. To help streamline this communication process, WellPoint developed the Member Activity Summary (MAS) Toolbar. The MAS Toolbar is a real-tim
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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
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