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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: June 8, 2010
Highmark QualityBLUE Program Found To Save Lives, Money

Reductions in the incidence of MRSA infections, fewer bloodstream infections from invasive catheter devices, and higher rates of adhering to recommended breast cancer screening guidelines are among the successful results from Highmark’s QualityBLUE P4P program, the health plan reported.

Highmark said its P4P program recorded a number of achievements through the continued collaboration between Highmark and its network providers.

The Highmark QualityBLUE program highlights are:

  • QualityBLUE hospitals reduced MRSA infections by 233 cases, which translates to a projected care cost savings of $6.3 million to $8.1 million. Approximately 5 percent of patients with a MRSA infection die, so by averting 233 infections potentially 11 lives were saved through QualityBLUE’s efforts.
  • QualityBLUE hospitals have consistently had a lower rate of infection from invasive catheter devices inserted into a patient to monitor the circulation of blood than the national average. Its hospitals prevented 1,020 potential bloodstream infections that resulted in $37.5 million in avoided care costs; and more importantly saved 122-255 lives.
  • Internal medicine primary care practices participating in QualityBLUE adhered to recommended breast cancer screening guidelines at a higher rate than the national average. In doing so it has saved an estimated 174 lives of women over the age of 50.
  • The overall generic prescribing rate for QualityBLUE participating providers has risen from 64 percent in July 2007 to 71 percent in July 2009.

"Our collaboration with providers is one of the key elements in the success of the program," said Linda Weiland, vice president of provider performance and information management at Highmark.

Fifty two hospitals covering the population in central and western Pennsylvania, as well as WestVirginia participate in QualityBlue hospitals.

Pittsburgh-based Highmark serves 4.8 million people and is an independent licensee of the BlueCross and BlueShield Association.

For more information on Highmark, visit

  This article was taken from:
Pay-For-Performance Reporter

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