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Blue Shield of California has revealed a partnership with DispatchHealth, a company that provides in-home, same-day healthcare from medical professionals who treat more than 40 health conditions, including respiratory infections, pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
With the collaboration, said BCBS, members now have access inside their own homes to additional medical care services for a range of illnesses and injuries.
Members can tap into DispatchHealth’s services in English and Spanish from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. Bridge care – assistance in transitioning high-risk members from hospital care to home care – is also available to help members with their recovery and prevent hospital readmissions.
WHAT’S THE IMPACT?
In Blue Shield’s recent test of DispatchHealth service for the health plan’s members, more than half of those who used it did so after 5 p.m., which is when most primary care offices are closed, and often the busiest hours for emergency rooms.
BCBS members living in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties who are enrolled in Preferred Provider Organization or Health Maintenance Organization plans can access DispatchHealth services.
While members with HMO plans must be referred by their primary care physician, those enrolled in PPO plans and Medi-Cal plans in Los Angeles and San Diego counties can receive access to DispatchHealth services by contacting BCBS California’s customer care, care concierge or nurse hotline, or by contacting DispatchHealth directly via their website.
“As we have expanded our offerings and collaborations within the industry, we continue to believe care in the home is more patient-centered and offers the opportunity for better outcomes,” said Dr. Mark Prather, cofounder and CEO of DispatchHealth.
The collaboration is part of Blue Shield of California’s Health Reimagined strategy to transform healthcare through innovations that advance personalized, holistic, tech-enabled patient care.
Blue Shield of California is a tax-paying, nonprofit, independent member of the Blue Shield Association, with 4.7 million members, 7,800 employees and $22.9 billion in annual revenue.
THE LARGER TREND
In October, BCBS California filed a lawsuit against the state’s Department of Health Care Services alleging the department has failed to supply documents detailing plans for the ways it will contract with for-profit insurers who seek participation in Medi-Cal, California’s Medicaid program.
Blue Shield criticized DHCS for intending to award contracts to national, for-profit companies. It also criticized the agency for giving Kaiser Permanente a separate, no-bid Medi-Cal contract, charging that the health system has received preferential treatment that allows it to prioritize healthier Medi-Cal enrollees – leaving sicker patients to Blue Shield CA and other health plans.
Blue Shield of California is one of five large payer organizations that entered into a new primary care agreement this year with the Purchaser Business Group on Health. It has agreed to increase investment in and access to a value-based advanced primary care model that emphasizes comprehensive, person-focused care, integration of behavioral and physical health services, and high-quality outcomes.
The initiative adopts an agreed-upon payment model for primary care providers, standardizing the way payers finance, support and measure the delivery of advanced primary care through the adoption of a set of measures jointly developed by the California Quality Collaborative and the Integrated Healthcare Association.
The other organizations involved in the agreement are Aledade, a physician-led ACO, and insurers Aetna, Health Net, Oscar and UnitedHealthcare. Each has signed a memorandum of understanding in the California Advanced Primary Care Initiative.
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