CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has awarded the Erlanger Health System $1 million for innovation initiatives designed to enhance and promote health care quality in the community.
The Innovation Award payment is part of a five-year strategic partnership between Erlanger and BlueCross announced last April, making Erlanger the exclusive Chattanooga health system in the BlueCross’ Blue Network.
“Our exclusive partnership with BlueCross has always been centered around patient care,” said Erlanger President and CEO, Kevin Spiegel, noting that Erlanger will utilize these funds to provide more coordinated, patient-centered care, and offer targeted treatment and aftercare services for the chronically ill or injured individuals.
One key initiative funded by the BlueCross award is the creation of a Care Transition Team targeting high-risk patients, age 65 and older, with no primary care physician and with repeated visits to Erlanger’s Emergency Room within six months. High risk conditions include congestive heart failure, COPD and pneumonia, among others. Within one week of every ER visit to Erlanger, a designated navigator on the Care Transition Team will follow up with a phone call to ensure the patient is taking medications, to see if further assistance is needed, and to encourage a primary care visit.
“Our mutual goal in this collaborative effort was to develop innovative approaches - like Erlanger’s Care Transition Team - to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care,” said BlueCross CEO Bill Gracey. “We are investing not only in Erlanger and the patients it cares for, but also in the health of the Chattanooga community.”