Two groups focused on reigning in costs have established a primary care physician practice in North Carolina. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and UNC Health Care announced Carolina Advanced Health to eligible BCBSNC customers last month.

The new medical practice is a collaborative approach designed to enhance efficiency and quality of care by coordinating a patient’s health care under one roof, say the companies. By doing this, the practice will improve health and quality standards and reduce complications among patients – both of which are expected to reduce medical costs.

“Through a comprehensive approach toward wellness, prevention and chronic disease management, we are building the foundation for a better health care system in North Carolina,” said BCBSNC President and CEO Brad Wilson.

Carolina Advanced Health is designed to take the patient-centered medical home model to a new level. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals at Carolina Advanced Health work together to manage every aspect of patient care to help improve the patient experience. On-site access to nutritionist and pharmacist consultations and behavioral health care means patients get support for all of their health needs in one place. The practice also streamlines the medical process, allowing patients to request multiple appointments on the same day, ask BCBSNC Customer Service claims questions on-site, as well as pay bills and schedule appointments online.

“UNC Health Care is committed to providing all North Carolinians with access to high-quality care, and we are pleased to join Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina in this effort,” said UNC Health Care CEO William L. Roper, MD, MPH. “This is just the beginning of what we hope will be a new era in personalized health care that leads to improved patient health, greater efficiency and lower health care costs.”

Carolina Advanced Health treats BCBSNC customers who are over 18, are covered by a participating BCBSNC health plan and are living with any of the following chronic illnesses: coronary artery disease, hypertension, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic heart failure and asthma. The following customers are not eligible to visit Carolina Advanced Health at this time: participants in Medicaid, Medicare, Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement plans and the Federal Employee Program, CHAMPUS/TRICARE and persons covered by health plans other than BCBSNC or participating self-insured employer groups.

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