PHILADELPHIA – Jefferson Health and Independence Blue Cross have signed a five-year agreement that expands their existing Innovation Collaboration program established in 2015.
“We are proud to have a new, long-term agreement with Jefferson Health, an institution that shares our drive to transform health care in this region and across the country,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO at Independence, in a statement.
The agreement also marks Jefferson Health officially joining the Independence Facilitated Health Networks model—a collaborative approach that is gaining regional and national traction for bringing health insurers and health systems together to improve the quality and lower the costs of care for members and patients.
The agreement commits the two organizations to work together to provide well-coordinated team-based care, which aims to improve access for Independence members and Jefferson Health patients through innovative technology that monitors progress and allows patients to interact with health care professionals at home, in the hospital, or another setting through a telehealth program.
The Innovation Collaboration has already yielded implementable ideas using augmented intelligence, predictive data analytics, virtual reality and drone technology.
“We have a unique opportunity in this new, expanded relationship with Independence to achieve our vision of reimagining health care, education and discovery to create value and improve lives,” said Dr. Stephen Klasko, president and CEO at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health.
Building on the Innovation Collaboration, the two organizations are now in talks to design health care initiatives including:
- Enhanced and more broadly implemented telehealth and virtual care services, bringing Jefferson care closer to home. This includes a number of initiatives like JeffConnect virtual triage, which will guide patients to the best setting for unscheduled care, and virtual rounds that allow family members to communicate directly with the patient and providers in the hospital. Teams are also exploring a “hospital without beds” that allows doctors and health systems to care for patients remotely round-the-clock while also reducing the cost of care. These initiatives are supplemented with diagnostic services that connect patients with Jefferson Health through their cell phone, tablet or computer.
- Disease management programs for common and manageable, yet costly, conditions including digital diabetes management.
Jefferson Health, through its academic and clinical entities of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, serves more than 100,000 inpatients, 373,000 emergency patients and 2.2 million outpatients annually.