CONTACT: Kathleen Makela
Remarks made during the Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting
BOSTON — February 19, 2014 — Andrew Dreyfus, President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, discussed the changing focus of health care at today's Taunton Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting, as well as innovative solutions to solve the cost problem. While addressing the crowd of more than 200 local business leaders, Dreyfus stressed that by focusing on how we pay for care, structure health benefits and support people's efforts to improve their health, costs can be contained.
"By giving physicians and hospitals the financial incentives and flexibility to design high-quality, high-value care, designing insurance coverage to expand members' involvement in the cost of their care as well as help employers lower costs, and by helping members stay as healthy, we can help curb the rising cost of care," said Dreyfus. "The theme connecting all three is engagement; engagement of caregivers, of patients, of employers. That is the key to building an exceptional and affordable health care system in Massachusetts."
Dreyfus cited the adoption of BCBSMA's Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) and how it is improving the quality of care members receive while at the same time slowing the growth in medical spending. BCBSMA now has 85 percent of its in-state HMO primary care physicians and 86 percent of specialists participating in the AQC, caring for approximately 85 percent of the health plan's in-state HMO members. In the Taunton area Morton Hospital, Brockton Hospital, Good Samaritan Medical Center and Northwoods Pediatric Associates all participate in the AQC.
In addition, BCBSMA redesigned its benefits and product offerings to help its members make more informed choices about their care. BCBSMA is a leader in innovative value-based products that reward employers and employees when they choose to receive care from physicians and hospitals that deliver high-quality care at a lower cost.
Over the last several years, BCBSMA has focused on the way it supports member health for both those with chronic illness and others who are trying to stay healthy. Through advanced wellness initiatives and robust case management programs BCBSMA has led the way for its members to stay as "healthy as they can," according to Dreyfus.
"None of this is easy, but we're getting there step by step, day by day. It can be easy to forget that the changes I described today are happening here in a way they have not taken hold in the rest of the nation," said Dreyfus. "As I travel around the nation and speak to my colleagues in other states, it's clear to me that something unique is happening here – in Massachusetts and right here in Taunton. Physicians, small business, local government and families are all coming together to deliver a goal many thought was impossible – affordable quality health care for all."
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 31,500 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Linkedin.