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Independence Blue Cross teams with American College of Physicians to improve primary care

Philadelphia-area’s largest health insurer offers online tool to help practices become patient-centered medical homes

December 12, 2011

Philadelphia - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announced a new collaboration with the American College of Physicians (ACP) to improve primary care. IBC is offering up to 100 practices free, one-year access to a new on-line tool that will help identify ways to better serve their patients. The tool, known as the Medical Home Builder 2.0, is the most recent example of how IBC is working with area physicians and respected professional organizations to promote patient-centered care. Since the beginning of 2011, IBC has more than tripled the number of recognized practices to nearly 200 in southeastern Pennsylvania.

The ACP Medical Home Builder 2.0 (MHB) helps practices analyze how they currently deliver patient care and identify ways to be more efficient. Physicians and their office staff can use the tool to improve scheduling, patient education, and coordination of care.

Practices recognized as a Patient Centered Medical Home function as a physician led team making sure patients, particularly those with chronic illnesses, receive key tests, take medication as directed, and are actively engaged in their own care with resources to stay well. Modules of this on-line program help the practice meet the medical home standards established by the National Committee for Quality Assurance and other accrediting agencies. Practices must satisfy these criteria to be recognized and to receive enhanced payments from health plans. The ACP introduced the first version of MHB in 2009 and it has been successfully used by more than 1,500 practices nationwide.

"Many practices are interested in becoming a medical home, but are struggling to know where to begin," said Richard Snyder, MD, chief medical officer for Independence Blue Cross. "Medical Home Builder 2.0 is a great roadmap for practices. ACP understands how physicians think and organize their practice. They built a strong, practical resource intended for small and medium size offices.”

“Medical Home Builder 2.0 helps practices identify opportunities for improvement and progression toward the patient-centered medical home model, which is one of today’s most talked-about concepts in primary care,” said Michael S. Barr, MD, senior vice president, Medical Practice, Professionalism and Quality Improvement at ACP. “Patient-centered medical homes deliver care the way patients most want and need, making the experience more satisfying for doctors and patients alike.”

The online tool includes useful videos and recorded webinars about medical homes and a library of more than 500 resources including downloadable guides and policy templates. Physicians and clinical staff can also use the tool to collaborate and share ideas online with other medical practices and medical homes. Future enhancements will include modules to cover common challenges in day-to-day practice such as front desk operations, billing, coding, and safety issues.

About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For 73 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's HMO and PPO health care plans have consistently received the highest ratings from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit us at ibx.com. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @ibx.

About the American College of Physicians
The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 132,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection, and treatment of illness in adults. Follow ACP on Twitter and Facebook.

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