Atrius Health, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Announce Deeper Collaboration to Transform Health Care Experience

Friday, Feb 08, 2019

Atrius Health and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ("Blue Cross") today announced a new seven-year agreement in which the two independent organizations will align around an advanced alternative payment model to co-create a new kind of health care experience that's simpler, easier to navigate, higher quality, and more affordable.

The agreement builds on the innovative work the two organizations have done together, beginning a decade ago with Blue Cross's pioneering Alternative Quality Contract (AQC), in which Atrius Health was one of the first providers to participate. Based on the success of the AQC, which reshaped health care in the Commonwealth and nationally, Blue Cross and Atrius Health are now collaborating again to create a seamless health care experience as well as new products and services for Atrius Health patients who are also Blue Cross members.

Focus areas for Atrius Health and Blue Cross will include developing more convenient ways of accessing care and navigating the health care system, more integrated population health programs, use of innovative technologies, and administrative simplification.

"We're excited to collaborate more deeply with Atrius Health to advance the goal of better care at a more affordable cost with an experience that helps patients better navigate the health system," said Andrew Dreyfus, president and CEO of Blue Cross. "It's part of our strategy to enter into deeper partnerships with physicians and hospitals that are aligned with these goals."

The agreement will also take alternative payment innovations to the next level. Atrius Health, a proven leader in coordinating patient care, will receive a global budget for the care of more than 130,000 of its patients who are Blue Cross members with commercial PPO, HMO and Medicare plans. This is the first Blue Cross provider contract and first Atrius Health commercial payer contract to have full risk (cost and quality accountability) for PPO members. In addition to supporting better alignment across the two organizations, this agreement will allow Atrius Health to better invest in care delivery models to improve patient experience, slow health care cost growth and provide the right resources to help people stay healthy and out of the hospital or emergency department.

"Blue Cross's commitment to improving patient experience makes them an outstanding partner for this journey toward a more accessible and affordable high-quality health care system in Massachusetts," said Steve Strongwater, MD, president & CEO of Atrius Health. "Their innovative approach to value-based payment goes hand in hand with our philosophy of finding new ways to better serve our patients, truly supporting our vision of transforming care to improve lives."

As two locally-based, not-for-profit, mission-driven organizations, Blue Cross and Atrius Health hope to take the innovations they develop in this non-exclusive agreement and expand them to serve as a model for how health plans and provider groups can align around improving quality, convenience and affordability. Both Blue Cross and Atrius Health remain committed to creative collaboration with other healthcare organizations to improve the health of Massachusetts communities.



Other News