Blue Cross Program Helps To Reduce Costs, Hospital Stays

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana program focused on getting chronic diseases under control has lowered costs for patients.
         The New Orleans Advocate’s Ted Griggs reports the Quality Blue Primary Care program, launched in 2013, targets the chronically ill, whose health care costs are much higher. It rewards physicians for meeting quality measures that help keep patients healthy by making sure they take their medication, follow treatment plans and visit doctors regularly.
         The program has improved care for diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease and kidney disease during the first nine months of 2015.
         Blue Cross president Mike Reitz says the program helps people stay healthy, which keeps their out-of-pocket expenses down.
         In the last two years, the program has cut costs by about $25 per patient per month.
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