Catholic Health, Empire partner plan to lower healthcare costs for LIers

Catholic Health, Empire partner plan to lower healthcare costs for LIers
Catholic Health and Empire BlueCross BlueShield had announced an agreement focused on new care delivery models designed to lower costs and increase value for people on Long Island. (Courtesy Wolfgang Kovac)

Catholic Health and Empire BlueCross BlueShield have entered into a multi-year agreement aimed at reducing healthcare costs and enhancing value for residents of Long Island. The partnership seeks to align payment rates with improved health outcomes and quality-of-care indicators in a shift toward value-based care.

Julie Kapoor, senior vice president of Revenue Management and Managed Care at Catholic Health, emphasized their commitment to value-based care, saying the partnership with Empire BlueCross BlueShield allows them to identify cost-saving opportunities while maintaining a focus on delivering high-quality healthcare services to Long Island residents.

“Value-based care is transforming the health care industry and Catholic Health is at the forefront of that transformation,” said Kapoor. “Our partnership with Empire BlueCross BlueShield helps us to proactively identify opportunities to reduce the costs of care while improving patient health. The signing of this agreement will allow us to stay focused on the delivery of exceptional care while also improving access to affordable health services on Long Island.”

The core of the agreement revolves around linking payment to quality outcomes, including factors such as readmission rates, patient safety, and patient satisfaction. This approach incentivizes preventive care, improves management of chronic conditions, reduces hospital admissions, and ultimately contributes to lowering healthcare costs for Long Island residents and employers.

“Without going into too much detail, over the life of the five-year agreement, Catholic Health’s reimbursement will be increasingly tied to quality, lower overall costs and better outcomes,” Kapoor said of the agreement.

She said the Value Based Care model is a partnership between payer and provider, with the patient at the center. This will allow the facilitation of “comprehensive health-care data allowing us to build deeper relationships with our patients which leads to the delivery of higher quality outcomes,” she said.

The focus will be on more preventive measure to maintain health in what Kapoor calls “shift from sick care to well care.” Providers can work with the patient to better coordinate care to meet their needs while promoting devotion to treatment.

“Our continued partnership with Catholic Health will keep care affordable for Long Islanders by aligning payments with health outcomes instead of on the volume of care provided—a win-win for employers and consumers,” said Daniel Jorgenson, vice president, Healthcare Networks at Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

Jorgenson explained that Empire’s mission is to improve the health of all New Yorkers.

“When we have an innovative partner like Catholic Health, who shares our openness to creative thinking, we are better able to make a real difference in the lives of our members,” Jorgenson said, “There is no health system that has made a more meaningful commitment to our value-based relationship, including being the first system in New York to join with us on the Epic Payer Platform to support communications between payers and providers. We look forward to continuing to grow this important partnership.”

Catholic Health, sponsored by the Diocese of Rockville Centre, is a comprehensive healthcare system comprising six acute care hospitals, three nursing homes, home health services, hospice care, and a network of physician practices. With over 16,000 employees, Catholic Health serves a substantial portion of Long Island’s population, providing care across the entire spectrum of life.

Empire BlueCross BlueShield, with a history spanning more than 85 years, is New York’s largest health insurer, supporting over 4 million members and thousands of businesses, unions, and small employers in the state. Their mission is to significantly enhance the health of New Yorkers, and they are recognized as a key player in the state’s healthcare landscape.

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