IBC Launches Clinical Care Report, Putting Physicians' Fingers on the Pulse of Patient Care
New web tool helps streamline care, improve quality, and lower costs
Philadelphia, PA - September 14, 2011 - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) member and diabetic Mrs. Smith* is getting an annual check-up with her primary care physician today, but before she walks into the waiting room, her doctor will already know whether she had the mammogram he requested, if she's been taking her blood pressure medication, and whether she's due for a cholesterol screening. That information and more is now available to physicians through the IBC's Clinical Care Report, an online tool designed to help doctors provide high-quality, better coordinated and more efficient care.
The Clinical Care Report places critical patient information at the fingertips of the more than 32,000 physicians in IBC's network to use in routine or emergency care. This report is available to a member's personal physician, primary care physician, and IBC network doctors who have treated the member in the past year. It is also available to a new doctor with whom the member has an upcoming appointment, or a doctor who is addressing a current emergency medical need, unless a member chooses to not give the physician access to her personal information.
Confidentiality of the information is paramount. The reports are available via IBC's health care provider web portal, which is administered by NaviNet, and may be accessed only at a centralized, secure location through the designated Security Officer in a doctor's office.
"This new capability is a part of our strategy to seek innovative ways to streamline care, improve quality, and lower costs through the use of electronic health information," says Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO at Independence Blue Cross. "We are deeply committed to making important technological investments like the Clinical Care Report to help advance today's health care, improve members' health, and provide even greater value for our members."
Physicians who are permitted access to the Clinical Care Report can retrieve a snapshot view of a member's health history, such as the prescriptions they've filled, surgeries they've had, medical diagnoses made, and certain lab tests results. IBC automatically adds information to the Clinical Care Report based on the member's medical and prescription drug claims paid by IBC within the past four years. Although this is a comprehensive report, it is not a complete medical record of all services, tests, or procedures that a member has received. It also does not include information for sensitive health conditions such as mental or behavioral health, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse and genetic testing. Members who wish to prevent their doctors from accessing this report entirely can do so by logging into IBC's member portal at www.ibxpress.com and selecting Manage Clinical Care Report from the My Self Service tools of the welcome page, or by calling 1-800-ASK-BLUE.
This one-stop resource gives doctors information they need to provide more informed, personalized care and may even help members save money. For example, the Clinical Care Report can help identify gaps in care by alerting the member's doctor if the member is missing an important recommended preventive health service, such as a cervical or a colorectal cancer screening. This particular feature of the Clinical Care Report enhances IBC's Clinical Alert functionality, an electronic report designed to give physicians timely notices like these before a patient's appointment by identifying additional care opportunities. The combination of these tools helps physicians provide a complete and thorough view of their patients' health before, during, or after an appointment.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services views health information technology as a primary driver for the successful management of many new evolving models of care proposed by the federal health care reform, such as patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations. IBC is an advocate for both new models of care, which encourage greater collaboration and accountability among doctors to provide patients the best quality care for the most value. The Clinical Care Report will aid physicians and hospitals engaged in IBC's pay-for-performance programs in meeting their quality performance goals.
"Effective care coordination depends largely on technology," says Dr. Richard Snyder, IBC's chief medical officer. "We're responding to our physicians who have told us they would benefit from health information and tools like the Clinical Care Report and Clinical Alerts to help them identify ways to provide more personalized care and avoid any potential problems, such as medications that may conflict with each other."
*Not a real IBC member.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. IBC Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For more than 70 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.