Columbia, S.C. – BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina’s Dr. Laura Long will deliver the keynote presentation on a promising model in health care, the patient-centered medical home (PCMH), at the 2012 Prevention Partners Health at Work Conference Thursday in West Columbia, S.C.
The daylong conference will focus on wellness, prevention and primary care in light of changing technology and health care reform. Attendees will include about 200 state government agency directors, school superintendents, benefits administrators and staff from public employers insured by the Employee Insurance Program (EIP).
Long, who holds a medical degree as well as a master’s in public health and is BlueCross’ vice president of clinical innovation and population health, will explain how the patient-centered medical home model aims to meet patients’ needs while also controlling costs. BlueCross is supporting PCMH programs in various parts of the state, working with primary care physician groups.
In this innovative model, a primary care provider coordinates all of the patient’s medical services, making sure none of the patient’s needs “fall through the cracks” of the complex health care system. BlueCross provides incentive payments for positive outcomes — for example, when diabetic patients get their blood sugar under control or obese patients lose weight. The model is a collaborative approach by insurance companies, health care providers and the individual patient to achieve the Triple Aim (http://www.ihi.org/offerings/Initiatives/TripleAim/Pages/default.aspx) of improved outcomes, an enhanced patient experience and reduced costs.
Patient-centered medical home arrangements focus on members with specific chronic diseases. BlueCross has included members of the State Health Plan, one of the plans offered through EIP, in the PCMH program since it began in April 2009. Some PCMH programs have been running long enough to yield results, and have demonstrated that they are improving patients’ health. EIP hopes to use these results to provide better health outcomes for patients with chronic conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes.
Prior to becoming vice president of clinical innovation and population health, Long was chief medical officer of BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina, and before that, she managed the hospitals of the South Carolina Department of Mental Health. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a doctor of medicine degree from the Medical College of Virginia and a master’s of public health from the University of South Carolina.
Long serves on the boards of the National Institute for Quality Improvement and Education and the Consortium for Southeastern Hypertension Control.
Prevention Partners (http://www.eip.sc.gov/prevention), a unit of the South Carolina Budget and Control Board’s Employee Insurance Program, is dedicated to improving and maintaining the health of public employees, retirees and their covered dependents.
Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises 47 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. BlueChoice HealthPlan (www.BlueChoiceSC.com) of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.