Reaching out to transform health care
For more than 87 years, the people of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) have worked to improve the health and wellbeing of North Carolinians. And in 2019, we believe we did more to further that work than in any year before. From reducing rates for a second consecutive year to advancing our value-based Blue PremierSM payment model and integrating behavioral health care more closely with primary care, we’ve made tremendous strides.
This report provides a look at 2019 accomplishments. It also provides a glimpse forward – because, of course, there’s much more work to do. And all of us here at Blue Cross NC are committed to doing it, to transforming the health care system for the benefit of all North Carolinians.
Reaching out for our customers and communities
To improve the health and wellbeing of our customers and communities
To be the model for transforming our health system through unwavering commitment to quality, affordability and exceptional experience
Blue Cross NC has articulated a set of values that guide our work in service to North Carolina:
- People First Bring positive energy, be the solution, make a difference
- Every Customer Matters Understand and meet our customers’ needs
- Think Data Balance intuition with data and insights to make decisions
- Innovate to Elevate Push boundaries, be curious, inspire breakthroughs
- Show Grit Take chances, be courageous, speak the truth
As we were completing this report on our company’s accomplishments in 2019, the global COVID-19 (Coronavirus) crisis emerged. It’s a crisis that has made our mission – to improve the health and wellbeing of our customers and communities – all the more urgent.
We remain proud of the work we did in 2019. We’re also proud of the way our nearly 5,000 employees have responded during the crisis this year. And we’re proud of the way the people and communities we serve have responded.
Of course, none of us can be sure of exactly what the rest of 2020 will bring. But there is one thing all of us at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina are committed to: Continuing our work on behalf of all North Carolinians.
A message from our leadership team
The pace of health care transformation has accelerated dramatically in the past decade. But even in an era when every year brings remarkable change, 2019 was a standout year for our state’s health care system.
Working together, we – health care providers, consumers, policy makers, Blue Cross NC – made tremendous progress toward creating a health care system that offers not only better, more affordable care, but also a greatly improved customer experience.
Amid the rapidly evolving health care landscape, we’ve stayed true to our mission: To improve the health and wellbeing of our customers and communities.
In 2019, Blue Cross NC continued to drive health care transformation with a string of achievements that brought us national attention as a leader in the move toward value-based care.
We started the year with the launch of Blue Premier, our new value-based payment system that helps improve care and lower costs by rewarding providers for more efficient, more patient-focused care. By the end of 2019, we had signed seven of the state’s largest health care systems to Blue Premier – representing nearly half of our customers.
Further, Blue Premier helped us move forward on one of our most critical goals: lower premiums for our customers. The savings from Blue Premier and other value-based payment arrangements allowed us to reduce premiums for customers with Affordable Care Act plans by a statewide average of 5.5% for 2020 – the second consecutive year of lower rates.
Many in the health insurance industry and the media have talked about slowing the rate of cost increases. Few have had success in actually bringing costs down. At Blue Cross NC, we’re proud of the victories we’ve helped consumers gain in reducing costs.
And as we work to change how – and how much – we pay for care, we’re also broadening the scope of our role in improving the health of North Carolinians. A strong primary care system is essential to this effort, with an emphasis on addressing the social and environmental factors that affect our health.
To help guide our initiatives on whole-person health, we added John Lumpkin, MD, MPH, as the company’s first Vice President for Drivers of Health Strategy. A proven leader, John is building a team of innovators to find ways for Blue Cross NC to help address non-medical issues like food security, housing, transportation and adverse childhood experiences.
In this report, you’ll see many more examples of our progress toward better, more affordable health care that provides an exceptional consumer experience. And while we’re proud of all the progress so far, we’re even more excited about what’s to come.
In the years ahead, we will continue to advocate for better health for our customers and for all North Carolinians.