• Press Release

Empire BlueCross BlueShield, Mount Sinai Collaboration to Improve Care and Lower Healthcare Costs

Empire BlueCross BlueShield and the Mount Sinai Health System have established an accountable care arrangement to improve quality, enhance personal health care, and reduce medical costs through collaboration and increased efficiency.

  • New York
  • (January 15, 2015)

Empire BlueCross BlueShield and the Mount Sinai Health System have established an accountable care arrangement to improve quality, enhance personal health care, and reduce medical costs through collaboration and increased efficiency. Empire is the largest health insurer in New York, and Mount Sinai is one of the largest academic medical centers nationally, with more than 6,600 physicians, seven hospitals, and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

The goal of the agreement, which took effect on January 1, 2015, is to guide Empire’s 48,000 Commercial and Medicare members who are attributed to the Mount Sinai Health System, improve their health and maintain healthy habits through coordinated care that aims to prevent duplicative services, unnecessary emergency room visits, and preventable hospital admissions. Central to Empire’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) contracting approach is an Enhanced Personal Health Care strategy that requires the development of individualized care plans for members with chronic or complex conditions. Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are characterized by a payment and care delivery model that seeks to link provider reimbursements to quality metrics and reductions in the total cost of care for an assigned population of individuals.

“It is a good partnership when provider and payer are both focused on improving health outcomes, streamlining care models, and driving down costs, and we are pleased to work with Empire BlueCross BlueShield to bring our expertise in primary care and population health management to bear in attaining these goals,” said Kenneth L. Davis, Chief Executive Officer and President, Mount Sinai Health System.

Under the new accountable care arrangement, the Mount Sinai Health System is responsible for managing all aspects of the patient’s health--coordinating medical care, closely monitoring the patient between visits, and ensuring necessary follow up care is received. Empire will provide additional compensation with reductions in medical cost and achievement of quality goals set under this agreement. Among the anticipated benefits are better health, reduction in duplicative testing, less absenteeism, lower costs, higher worker productivity, and more efficient use of provider resources.

“We are very excited about this closer collaboration with Mount Sinai Health System, which we expect will improve the health of our members and make health care more affordable,” said Brian Griffin, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield.” “We are committed to developing new collaborative models in line with the “Triple Aim” goal – achieving better population health, providing higher quality of treatment and reducing the costs of care.”
Both organizations will collect and analyze data on quality, costs, and utilization which will enable them to identify opportunities to improve care and keep care affordable for patients and employers in New York.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Serving New Yorkers for 80 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield is the largest health insurer in New York supporting nearly five million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State. Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin or @empirebcbs and Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinIn, or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin

About the Mount Sinai Health System

Mount Sinai Health System is one of the largest academic medical systems in the New York metro area, with more than 43,000 employees working across eight hospitals, over 400 outpatient practices, nearly 300 labs, a school of nursing, and a leading school of medicine and graduate education. Mount Sinai advances health for all people, everywhere, by taking on the most complex health care challenges of our time — discovering and applying new scientific learning and knowledge; developing safer, more effective treatments; educating the next generation of medical leaders and innovators; and supporting local communities by delivering high-quality care to all who need it.

Through the integration of its hospitals, labs, and schools, Mount Sinai offers comprehensive health care solutions from birth through geriatrics, leveraging innovative approaches such as artificial intelligence and informatics while keeping patients’ medical and emotional needs at the center of all treatment. The Health System includes approximately 7,300 primary and specialty care physicians; 13 joint-venture outpatient surgery centers throughout the five boroughs of New York City, Westchester, Long Island, and Florida; and more than 30 affiliated community health centers. We are consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals, receiving high "Honor Roll" status, and are highly ranked: No. 1 in Geriatrics and top 20 in Cardiology/Heart Surgery, Diabetes/Endocrinology, Gastroenterology/GI Surgery, Neurology/Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology/Lung Surgery, Rehabilitation, and Urology. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai is ranked No. 12 in Ophthalmology. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Children’s Hospitals” ranks Mount Sinai Kravis Children's Hospital among the country’s best in several pediatric specialties.

For more information, visit https://www.mountsinai.org or find Mount Sinai on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.