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Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey and Partners In Care launch collaborative ACO to deliver better health care at lower costs

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (BCBSNJ) and Partners In Care, an independent physician association and healthcare management company based in East Brunswick, announced today the launch of a collaborative Accountable Care Organization (ACO) to improve care coordination for approximately 20,000 Horizon BCBSNJ members. Fifty-one primary care practices throughout New Jersey are participating in this ACO initiative, which took effect on January 1, 2014.“This agreement with Partners In Care is another important step toward transforming how patient care is delivered in New Jersey with stronger coordination, a better patient experience, and lower cost of care for Horizon members,” said Jim Albano, Vice President of Network Management and Horizon Healthcare Innovations at Horizon BCBSNJ.“As early pioneers with more than 18 years of experience in care coordination, population health and accountable care, we are excited about collaborating with Horizon in improving patient care,” added Ralph Tang, President and CEO of Partners In Care. “We are proud to have a track record of working with health insurers and self-insured employers to measurably improve the health of their members and employees while bending the cost curve. We achieve these outcomes by working with and through our extensive and growing network of primary care and multi-specialty providers. We look forward to delivering similar results to Horizon and its members.”ACOs are built on a strong primary care foundation. Participating physician groups help create a healthier patient population through a coordinated, accountable approach to care among providers within the ACO. ACOs are designed to achieve measured patient quality outcomes and decrease unnecessary and duplicative medical tests and treatments.Under this ACO agreement, Horizon BCBSNJ will provide care coordination payments to the ACO to take on additional accountability for improving the health and patient experience as well as controlling the cost of care for its Horizon BCBSNJ patients. The ACO and its affiliated practices have an opportunity to share in the resulting savings, provided the ACO meets certain health improvement, patient satisfaction and cost goals.Horizon BCBSNJ has a number of patient-centered programs, including Accountable Care Organizations, Patient-Centered Medical Homes, and programs focused on Episodes of Care (i.e. joint replacement).More than 500,000 Horizon BCBSNJ members are now benefiting from Horizon BCBSNJ’s patient-centered programs that are working to improve patient care while controlling costs.About Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New JerseyHorizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, the state’s oldest and largest health insurer, is a tax-paying, not-for-profit health services corporation, providing a wide array of medical, dental, and prescription insurance products and services. Horizon BCBSNJ is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, serving 3.7 million members with headquarters in Newark and offices in Wall, Mt. Laurel, and West Trenton. Learn more at www.HorizonBlue.com.About Partners In CarePhysician-owned and established in 1995, we are New Jersey’s oldest and most innovative Independent Physician Association (IPA) and healthcare management company with extensive experience and expertise in Care Coordination and Population Health Management.Our clients are both commercial and managed Medicare health plans, self-insured employers and public sector entities, such as local and state government agencies, joint health funds, municipalities, parking authorities and school districts. We customize healthcare management programs for our clients focused on improving employee or member health thereby lowering healthcare costs.Under the leadership of the Chief Medical Officer, our clinical team of licensed nurses leverages our proprietary health IT technologies, tools and informatics to provide timely and targeted care for high-risk patients and preventive care for lower-risk patients, which reduces costly and unnecessary hospital admissions and emergency room visits.Our provider network is comprised of more than 420 primary care physicians, multi-specialty physicians and other healthcare professionals located primarily in 13 of the 21 counties in Central and Southern New Jersey.For more information about us, please visit www.piccorp.com.