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    ‘Human-centered’ approach to healthcare innovation

    In the past decade, no industry has undergone as much far-reaching transformation as healthcare. With advancements in science, medicine, and technology, not to mention the vast changes brought by the Affordable Care Act, healthcare companies that succeed must be ready to innovate at every juncture.

    As a national healthcare company serving nearly 10 million people in 25 states, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates understand this well. We have created a business strategy that focuses on encouraging and developing innovation in everything we do.

    Through the Human-Centered Innovation Program, we aim to solve some of our nation’s most pressing healthcare problems by moving forward with promising ideas that put the needs of people and their physicians at the center of everything we do. And in doing so, we believe we can make the healthcare experience more convenient, more effective, and less expensive.

    On the cutting edge

    Today, information and technology are a driving force of innovation. They are critical for treating patients with the most comprehensive, convenient care possible, but also show incredible promise for preventing illness.

    For example, we developed our own sophisticated scientific model that can identify who is at risk for serious health issues that could require a hospital visit. Then, we intervene to help lower that risk by offering customized programs and services that can help members stay well.

    Our success rates have been so high—a 40% to 50% reduction in hospital admission rates among critically ill patients—that we’re expanding the program. We’ve collaborated with NYU Langone to identify those at risk for type 2 diabetes before they are diagnosed, and intervene before they become symptomatic. 

    We’re also committed to bringing advances in oncology care to our members. That’s why we are so interested in companies such as NantHealth, which uses genomic information and medical data to develop personalized treatment plans for people with cancer and other diseases. We recently contracted with the company for whole genomic sequencing for members with certain types of cancer and are the first major insurer to cover this testing.

    Related: First insurer covers whole genome sequencing for cancer

    Next: Giving physicians and patients what they need


    Daniel J. Hilferty
    Daniel J. Hilferty is president and CEO, Independence Blue Cross.


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