Publication Date: 

The Blue Premier value-based care program from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) created an estimated $197 million in cost savings and quality improvements in 2020, according to an analysis from Blue Cross NC. Despite the pandemic, the cost and quality impact of Blue Premier increased last year as additional health systems and physician practices joined one of the nation’s leading value-based care efforts.

Collectively, Blue Premier systems and practices met their performance goals for delivering high-quality, cost-effective care for the 857,000 Blue Cross NC members they served last year. The number of members receiving care from a Blue Premier provider increased 60% from the 536,000 served in 2019, the program’s first year.

Specific quality improvements through Blue Premier last year include:

  • A 15% reduction in unplanned hospital readmissions among adult members seeking care a Blue Premier facility, compared to 2019
  • An increase in the percentage of members who had their blood pressure regularly monitored and control (53% in 2020, compared with 51% in 2019)
  • Almost 10,000 more colorectal screenings than in the previous year, possibly averting an additional 200 deaths from colorectal cancer, according to health screening calculations from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force

Blue Premier has grown rapidly since its inception: Agreements are in place with 11 hospitals and health systems and more than 870 independent primary care practices across the state, up from five systems in 2019. The systems currently in Blue Premier account for about 65% of Blue Cross NC’s total annual spending on hospital care.


For more details, click here to view the full press release