Chicago - Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans has created a database of claims information (with no personal identifiers) from 79 million lives. Called Blue Health Intelligence (BHI), this resource is designed to help to improve health care quality through sharing critical health information initially with employers, and in the future, with consumers and providers.The secure, HIPAA-compliant database is significantly larger than existing healthcare databases, which may strengthen the movement to greater health care transparency by ultimately providing unmatched detail about health care trends and best practices.

"BHI will play a central role in transforming the present healthcare system into a focused, knowledge-based healthcare system," says BCBSA President and CEO Scott P. Serota. "In the near term, BHI will support the efforts of employers to better manage the healthcare benefits they offer their employees. Eventually, BHI will provide consumers with the information they need to make informed healthcare decisions and will heighten collaboration with providers as they deliver high-quality, evidence-based care to their patients."

"Blue Health Intelligence will ultimately provide an unparalleled depth and breadth of information about a range of health trends and measures. This information will help Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans work with their customers to develop and offer more valuable employee benefits," says Gail K. Boudreaux, Health Care Service Corporation's executive vice president for external operations, and BHI board co-chair. "The amount and level of information offered by BHI will enhance patient care and greatly inform healthcare decision making. We are proud to have contributed to the development of what will be a great asset to healthcare in this country."

Consumers are playing an increasing role in managing their healthcare, and they need knowledge-based tools to help them make the right decisions. "An empowered healthcare consumer needs access to credible information to make more informed choices," says Robert J. Greczyn, Jr., president and chief executive officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, and co-chair of the BHI board. "When fully operational, BHI will offer consumers useful information as they consider their healthcare options. BHI will set the industry standard."

The development of BHI over the last several years responds to the demands of employers, consumers, and providers who are calling for credible and actionable data to drive informed, evidence-based decision making. BHI is currently being pilot-tested and will be operational by 2007.

As BHI evolves, the resource will provide a number of benefits to employers, consumers, providers and other stakeholders, such as:

* Sharper insight into health care trends and best clinical practices.

* Information about the efficacy of certain treatments and new medical technologies as well as emerging trends in health care practice and delivery.

* Benchmarking data to assist in conducting comparative analyses across a number of health care components.

* Opportunities for health services research.

Twenty Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans currently are participating in BHI: Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska Blue Cross of Idaho BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York / BlueShield of Northeastern New York (HealthNow New York, Inc.) Capital Blue Cross CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield (DC, DE, MD) Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Highmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield Independence Blue Cross The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in IL, OK, NM, TX (Health Care Service Corporation) The Blue Cross or Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans in CA, CO, CT, GA, IN, KY, ME, MO, NH, NV, NY, OH, VA, WI (WellPoint, Inc.)

Source: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

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