Navigation Links
Highmark's Collaboration With Hospitals and Doctors Continues to Yield Benefits for all Patients
Date:11/3/2010

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Whether it's reducing infections for patients, increasing the number of generic drugs to reduce costs or collaborating with hospitals to develop a philosophy and culture of quality, Highmark's QualityBLUE pay-for-performance (P4P) programs continue to evolve to help save lives and health care dollars.

The company's most recent internal report on the hospital and physician P4P program demonstrates a number of positive results.

One of the most successful methods found to reduce health care costs is to increase the rate of clinically appropriate generic drug use substitution. Since 2006, when the measure was implemented, the percent of generic medications prescribed has increased from an average of 46 percent to 73 percent. Using the average Highmark prices for generic and brand medications and calculating what would have been paid if QualityBLUE participating physician practices prescribed brand drugs, it can be estimated that more than $87 million was saved during the past year through increased generic substitution.

In addition to savings incurred through generic substitution, patients also pay lower copayments for generic drugs. These copayments have remained steady during the past five years while copayments for other brand drugs have increased. Highmark's average retail generic price is $14 less than the national average.

"One focus of the physician and hospital programs is clinical quality", said Linda Weiland, Highmark's vice president of provider performance and information management. "We work collaboratively with health care providers to ensure patients receive evidence-based care in accordance with nationally established guidelines."

The QualityBLUE hospital P4P program was started in 2002 with six hospitals and has expanded to 63 hospitals participating in the program today. About two-thirds of all primary care physicians in Highmark's physician network participate in the QualityBLUE Primary Care Physician program.

A number of positive results were also revealed regarding hospital participation with the program.

A central line is an invasive catheter device inserted in a patient and used to monitor the circulating blood through the body, provide nourishment and administer medication. While these catheters are life sustaining, they introduce the risk of infections for patients.

QualityBLUE hospitals have been monitoring hospital-wide central line infections (CLAB) for four consecutive years and when compared to the Centers for Disease Control National Healthcare Safety Network (CDC-NHSN), the QualityBLUE CLAB rates have been consistently lower than the national hospital-wide rate.

A comparison during the four years demonstrates that QualityBLUE hospitals prevented 1,283 central line associated bloodstream infections, saving 154-321 lives and produced in $9.4 million to $37.4 million in patient care cost savings ($7,288 to $29,156 per CLAB.)

MRSA is an antibiotic resistant organism that can potentially cause life-threatening bloodstream and surgical site infections in hospital and community settings. QualityBLUE hospitals search for and identify MRSA-positive patients via nose cultures upon admission and discharge to hospital. Hospitals implement infection  prevention procedures to limit patient-to-patient spread. Through this program, 318 infections were averted with a potential cost savings of between $8.6 million and $11 million.

"The QualityBLUE program has been a powerful catalyst for needed change in health care facilities in Pennsylvania," said Michael Doering, executive director of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority. "The positive results remind us that improvements can be made given appropriate attention by inspired health care professionals."

"This program has helped improve care for all patients, not just Highmark members because of the changes physicians and hospitals have made in patient care delivery," said Weiland. "With the backdrop of health care reform, this program will continue to be important because of the national emphasis on patient safety, value driven care delivery and the pursuit of sustained high quality for all consumers."

In October The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), in collaboration with the Harvard Medical School Department of Health Care Policy, recognized Highmark with a Best of Blue Clinical Distinction Award for QualityBLUE, its hospital pay-for-performance program. Harvard researchers evaluated and selected programs by Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans for recognition based on their innovation, effectiveness and potential for replication.

About Highmark Inc.

As one of the leading health insurers in Pennsylvania, Highmark Inc.'s mission is to provide access to affordable, quality health care enabling individuals to live longer, healthier lives. Based in Pittsburgh, Highmark serves 4.7 million people through the company's health care benefits business. Highmark contributes millions of dollars to help keep quality health care programs affordable and to support community-based programs that work to improve people's health. Highmark exerts an enormous economic impact throughout Pennsylvania. A recent study states that Highmark's positive impact exceeded $2.5 billion. The company provides the resources to give its members a greater hand in their health.

Highmark Inc. is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.


'/>"/>
SOURCE Highmark Inc.
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. Simbionix and AABIP Sign Collaboration Agreement
2. Lixte Biotechnology Holdings, Inc. Announces the Approval of a Collaboration with the National Cancer Institute for Clinical Evaluation of its Lead Anti-Cancer Compound, LB-100.
3. Alere and AirStrip Technologies - a Powerful Collaboration Brings Innovative Remote Patient Monitoring to Obstetrical Care
4. OvaGene Oncology Joins The Gynecologic Oncology Group (GOG) Industry Collaboration Team to Advance Gynecologic Cancer Research
5. Cornerstone Therapeutics Announces Collaboration with The Cough Company
6. Silence Therapeutics and AstraZeneca Extend siRNA Development Collaboration
7. Accumetrics, Inc., Daiichi Sankyo, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company Launch Strategic U.S. Collaboration
8. Serono Symposia International Foundation in Collaboration With ESHRE Announces Public Competition in Reproductive Medicine
9. Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Oncology Research Collaboration Agreement with the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT
10. IDRI and PATH Enter into Research Collaboration Agreement to Evaluate Novel Adjuvants to Enhance Pandemic Influenza Vaccines
11. -- Neurocrine Announces a Second Corporate Collaboration Within Twenty-Four Hours -- Neurocrine Biosciences Announces a Worldwide Collaboration With Boehringer Ingelheim to Research and Develop GPR119 Agonists for Type II Diabetes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made an ... current process. Many of them do not even offer this ... and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE able ... such a high cost that the majority of today,s patients ... Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Research and ... Devices Medical Market Analysis 2016 - Forecast to 2022" ... The report contains up to date financial data derived ... Assessment of major trends with potential impact on the market ... of market segmentation which comprises of sub markets, regional and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/25/2016)... , ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June ... a Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments ... of the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell Observance Day. ... the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, Michigan, has ... , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood cells, which ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... for accelerated orthodontic treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of ... AcceleDent, and accelerated osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... at the Clinical Decision Making in Emergency Medicine conference in Ponte Vedra Beach, ... journal articles published in Emergency Medicine Practice and Pediatric Emergency Medicine ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... National recruitment firm Slone Partners is pleased to announce the ... as Vice President of North American Capital Sales at HTG Molecular . ... team in the commercialization of the HTG EdgeSeq system and associated reagents in North ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):