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SelectBlue

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Posted 9/24/2013

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In this video, doctors from The Nebraska Medical Center and Methodist Health System talk about what this collaboration between the two hospitals means for the future of health care in Nebraska. The Nebraska Medical Center and Methodist are teaming up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska to offer SelectBlue - a new health insurance product that will lower costs for patients and in the future, small businesses. Three of Nebraska's most-respected health care companies have formed an innovative, high-performance network of doctors and hospitals designed to increase the quality of medical care Nebraskans receive while reducing medical and health insurance costs. The Nebraska Medical Center is teaming up with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE), and Nebraska Methodist Health System and their affiliated physicians to develop a "select tier" health care network and health insurance product. It's the first large-scale collaboration of its kind in the state that features full health benefits at lower costs when choosing from a select group of physicians. "Health care reform coming from Washington has re¬ceived a lot of attention the past few years," said Steven S. Martin, President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska. "But these three parties believe reform is most effective locally, and that health care should be a team sport—consumer, doctor and hospital, and insurance company working together to address quality and affordability." BCBSNE, the state's largest health insurance company, chose Methodist and The Nebraska Medical Center because of each system's commitment to maintaining quality standards, while working to lower medical costs. The Nebraska Medical Center and Methodist already work cooperatively in that fashion via the accountable care organization formed by the two competing hospitals more than two years ago. "Patients want high quality care and they are concerned about cost," said Glenn Fosdick, President and CEO of The Nebraska Medical Center. "This partnership address¬es both, and it is a unique way for practicing physicians to provide input into the design and utilization of an insurance plan." The new combined network offers internationally recog¬nized cancer and transplant treatment, leading neurol¬ogy and cardiology programs, complete women's care and a center of excellence for orthopedic and sports medicine—all with a promise of better-coordinated care for consumers. "It's encouraging from the patient perspective that we're getting cooperative ventures within the provider system in the Omaha metro area," said Methodist physician Dr. Bill Shiffermiller. It's a new era of cooperation that will hopefully make for higher quality and more efficient health care." The first initiative to result from this three-party agree¬ment is the "SelectBlue" group of insurance products. Depending on the health insurance option chosen, con¬sumers could realize out-of-pocket savings up to $9,000 annually when utilizing the new "select tier" of Method¬ist and Nebraska Medical Center physicians (vs. using "in network" or "out of network" providers). The three companies are working on a similar product that will be offered to small businesses later this year. "This collaboration is the kickoff to more affordable care, which is one of the goals of health care reform," said Methodist Health System President and CEO John Fraser. "Independent of an employer-based plan, this provides families and individuals with access to higher quality health care at an affordable price."