CareFirst's medical home program saved patients $1.2B by lowering readmissions, lengths of stay

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield's medical home program, since its inception in 2011, has lowered the expected cost of care for its members by nearly $1.2 billion.

The patient-centered program reaped these savings by reducing hospital admissions, readmissions and hospital length of stay.

Members in the program have had 21.3 percent fewer hospital admissions, 22.5 percent fewer emergency room visits and 7.8 percent fewer days in the hospital since the program's launch.

"Bending the cost curve while improving quality for our members was the principal goal of the PCMH program when it was launched. We are pleased that our data again shows the program is helping to slow the rate at which medical costs grow while improving the quality of care," said CareFirst President and CEO Chet Burrell.

The program is structured around primary care providers organized into groups of five to 15 physicians who coordinate the care of CareFirst members. The physician groups, called panels, can earn incentives if optimal patient outcomes are achieved.   

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