Utah’s First Insurer, Key Partner Announce Results of Innovative Care Agreement

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SALT LAKE CITY – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah – the state’s first health insurer – and the Central Utah Clinic – the state’s largest group of independent physicians – are sharing the results from the first full year of their collaborative effort to improve patient care, while containing costs.  The groundbreaking agreement is what the two partners refer to as an aligned Total Cost of Care (TCC) incentive model.

The TCC program empowers the physicians with medical cost and quality information and increases their accountability for quality outcomes. TCC includes a shared savings arrangement tied to physicians achieving specific quality metrics and a reduced cost trend.

Compared to other small-scale “accountable care” plans being offered by recent entrants into the Utah market, the Regence/Central Utah Clinic TCC program has two important differences. First, it’s actually been in place for just over a year and its impact has been measured and validated. Next, its scope has been wide – taking advantage of Central Utah Clinic’s network of facilities which are located in nearly two-thirds of Utah’s 29 counties – not just three or four. “To get the full measure of what this new care model can do, we rolled it out across our system,” said Scott Barlow, CEO of Central Utah Clinic. “The results have far exceeded our expectations – leading to savings of nearly $1 million in our first 12 months. And those are dollars Regence members and employers didn’t have to spend. Importantly, these savings came not because anyone was denied care, but because our doctors had enough cost information to make prudent decisions about the best clinical care and cost efficacy,” Barlow said.

“In a time of rapidly escalating health care costs, it’s refreshing to see some of the premier physicians in our state embrace this very different integrated care approach. An approach that boosts transparency, encourages information-sharing and more clearly connects compensation with exceptional quality outcomes,” said Melissa Christian, vice president of Network Management for Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah.  

“Central Utah Clinic has long been admired for its commitment to providing top quality care to its patients, while respecting every patient’s right to participate with their physician in treatment decisions,” said Jennifer Danielson, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah. “As this agreement moves into its second year and others follow, I have no doubt that we in Utah are going to see greater value and patient orientation in health care – and significantly, a greater sense of fulfillment from our providers.” Danielson added.

The agreement with Central Utah Clinic is the state’s senior TCC/accountable care pact, but it is certainly not the only one. Five other leading independent physician groups across Utah have signed on as well. These include University of Utah Medical Group, Tanner Clinic, Foothill Clinic, Granger Medical and Wasatch Internal Medicine.

These six new TCC/accountable care agreements stand as the latest examples of the successful roll-out of the comprehensive Accountable Health strategy within the Regence family of companies in Oregon, Utah, Washington and Idaho. Since 2007, Regence has worked with providers, employers, and individual members throughout its four-state region to implement innovative collaborative care models.

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah

Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah, based in Salt Lake City, is the state’s first health insurer and now provides nearly 465,000 members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers in Utah and nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regenceutah, or twitter.com/regenceutah.

About Central Utah Clinic

Comprised of more than 170 physicians, Central Utah Clinic is the largest independent, physician-owned, multi-specialty practice in Utah. Based in Provo, UT, Central Utah Clinic provides care in 25+ specialties with many primary care and specialty providers located throughout the state.