Patient-centered practices are steadily growing in American healthcare. Yesterday, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) announced they helped Horizon members avoid more than 2,000 emergency room visits and more than 600 inpatient stays in 2016.
Patient-centered practices actively coordinate the work of specialists and other health professionals and try to focus on wellness and preventive care. The idea is to help patients get and stay healthy and avoid more costly and complicated health conditions.
Horizon says that in 2016, members engaged with a patient-centered practice — compared to those with traditional practices — had a 3 percent lower total cost of care, 3 percent lower rate of emergency-room visits, 3 percent lower rate of hospital inpatient admissions, 3 percent higher rate of breast cancer screenings, and 4 percent improved control of diabetes costs.
Horizon says that 1.5 million members participated in its patient-centered programs in 2016, an increase of 50 percent over the previous year. And the number of primary-care physicians participating in such programs grew by nearly 10 percent.