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News Releases - 2019

May 23, 2019

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Hutchinson Clinic Partner to Improve Health and Lower Costs for Hutchinson Clinic Patients

With an eye toward improving population health and member experience while better controlling the overall cost of health care, the Hutchinson Clinic has entered into an accountable care agreement with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. This agreement will support patients of the health system's Hutchinson-based primary care physicians associated with Hutchinson Clinic, according to Matt All, president/CEO of the state's largest health insurer.

The Accountable Care Organization (ACO) agreement, BlueStem+, is designed to create better overall outcomes for patients, and in doing so, lower health care costs over time for members.  The agreement has been in place since Jan. 1, 2019, and initially includes an annual payment to Hutchinson Clinic if certain quality and financial measures are achieved. In the latter years of the agreement, Hutchinson Clinic will continue to be eligible for such payments, but also will assume risk if certain cost and quality targets are not achieved.

BlueStem+ adds incentives to improve population health and member experiences while reducing overall health care costs over time. ACOs have proven they can reduce hospital admissions, reduce readmissions and prevent unnecessary emergency room visits.  Care coordination seeks to provide enhanced preventative care and improve overall health and the avoidance of chronic conditions.

"The Hutchinson Clinic has chosen to enter into this type of arrangement because it allows our primary care physicians to focus on health care instead of sick care and aids in identifying small issues before they become bigger health concerns" said Mike Heck, Hutchinson Clinic CEO. "Our goal is to keep patients healthy while providing an exceptional patient experience and improving overall community health outcomes.

"This is great news for Hutchinson Clinic patients and the community," continued Heck. "Utilizing care coordination and best practices, the Hutchinson Clinic is able to provide a level of care that should lead to a healthier population year over year."

The goal of the agreement, according to All, is to help patients by increasing coordination among providers, focusing on preventive health care and ensuring patient care is based on evidence.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is proud to be leading the shift toward new reimbursement partnerships with providers that improve both quality and total cost of care for patients," All said. "We are confident this new approach will improve the overall health of Kansans while better controlling health care costs and positively impacting premiums for employers and members.

"We are pleased to partner with Hutchinson Clinic and its Hutchinson-based providers, on our first value-based ACO agreement in the Hutchinson area," All said. "We have had a long partnership with Hutchinson Clinic, and we look forward to collaborating with them in the coming years to achieve our mutual goals of improved patient outcomes and experiences, along with better managing health care costs for all."

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state's largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit bcbsks.com.

About Hutchinson Clinic

The Hutchinson Clinic is a multi-specialty medical clinic offering primary, specialty and walk-in care services. With over 100 doctors and providers and over 30 clinical departments, complete family healthcare is available in one convenient location. Built on 60 years of quality care, Hutchinson Clinic physicians and surgeons see patients in Hutchinson and throughout a network of outreach clinic locations and telemed services. For more information or a list of locations, visit hutchclinic.com.

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