Regence behavioral health pilot surpasses outcomes of national programs

Company expands web-enabled system that uses patient-reported data to guide treatment

(Portland, OR) – A successful pilot program with Western Psychological and Counseling Services has spurred Regence to expand an innovative clinical outcomes system to behavioral health providers throughout its service area. Providers who participated in the pilot demonstrated better outcomes for their patients when compared to a large national sample of providers treating patients with similar characteristics.

The Regence Behavioral Health Outcomes Measurement System is built on the concept of outcomes-informed care, which refers to the practice of incorporating patient-reported treatment outcomes data into the treatment process. Clinicians can use the data generated by the Regence Behavioral Health Outcomes Measurement System as a tool to monitor progress and inform treatment. Outcomes of patients at the clinic improved during the course of the pilot program. Patients who began treatment in 2007 have an average effect size of .82, compared to an effect size of .92 for patients who initiated treatment during the first five months of 2008. Effect size measures the magnitude of clinical improvement.

"This pilot program embodies Regence’s commitment to transparency and to developing programs that help ensure our members receive the best care possible," said Carson Graves, Assistant Director, Behavioral Health and Wellness. "We are excited to begin offering all Regence behavioral health participating providers access to this system to improve treatment outcomes for our members."

The Regence Behavioral Outcomes Measurement System differs in several important ways from outcomes measurement initiatives previously implemented by other health plans. Key features of Regence’s system include:

  1. Web-enabled outcomes system
  2. Provider data and reporting update every 24 hours
  3. Dedicated, HIPAA-secured Web site for providers
  4. Open source model with non-proprietary technologies
  5. Continued development of system with ongoing provider feedback
  6. Voluntary provider participation

Regence first piloted its clinical outcomes system in January 2007 at Portland’s Western Psychological and Counseling Services, the largest behavioral health specialty clinic in Oregon.

Western’s CEO Daryl Quick, Ph.D. sums up the program’s value. "These systems allow providers to demonstrate objective results and value to payers, purchasers and patients beyond anecdotal information. We are excited to continue our partnership with Regence to help deliver the highest quality care to our patients." Western currently has 120 clinicians participating in the Regence Behavioral Health Outcomes Management System and has measured the treatment outcomes of more than 7,000 patients to date.

The Regence Behavioral Outcomes Measurement System was developed in collaboration with Jeb Brown, Ph.D., a national expert on behavioral health outcomes measurement. Dr. Brown is the director of Center for Clinical Informatics, a consulting group specializing in the development of outcomes management systems for large systems of care. About Regence

Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence serves three million members as Regence BlueShield (selected counties) in Washington, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each health plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com.