PHILADELPHIA, July 31 To better support high-qualitypatient care, Independence Blue Cross (IBC) is providing primary carephysicians with enhanced information about IBC members with chronicconditions. This summer, physicians across the region are receiving a SMART(R)Registry with several important enhancements. The Registry is a tailoredmedical report that aids physicians in better treating patients with specifichealth care needs.
Twice a year, primary care physician practices receive the SMART Registryfor many of their patients who suffer from chronic conditions such asdiabetes, heart failure, coronary heart disease, asthma, and COPD. The reportsinclude color-coded charts that note whether the member may be in need of arecommended test, procedure, or treatment. Reports also include confirmationthat recommended tests have been completed, along with available results.
The SMART Registry, introduced by IBC in 2004 through an alliance withHealth Dialog, will now add key new information regarding chronic conditionmembers and will be available in a variety of convenient formats. Now includedin the Registry is "medication persistence," a medication monitoring tool tohelp physicians manage patient care more proficiently. Persistence rates willshow how often a patient fills their recommended prescriptions and obtainsrefills in a timely manner.
"We are very excited about the recent enhancements to the SMART Registryand how they will help doctors better serve their patients," said Dr. EstherNash, senior medical director at IBC. "We consistently search for ways to makethis information useful to physicians. Members with chronic conditions face acontinuous challenge when it comes to keeping up with care recommended bytheir physicians. The Registry is an innovative means for doctors to identifygaps in care and work with their patients to better manage their health."
Also new this year, many doctors are automatically receiving an electroniccopy of the registry. The CD version, rather than the previous binder format,allows physicians to sort the data in the way that works best for them, makingpatient outreach more effective. This version includes a PDF file of theentire SMART Registry as well as all supplemental materials. The binder formatis still available upon request.
The SMART Registry is a key component of IBC's Connections(SM) Program;which is designed to assist providers and their patients in managing chronicconditions, and to help patients make more informed decisions about theirhealth. The decision support element features Health Coaches, who areavailable 24/7 to answer questions regarding treatment options, as well asgeneral medical questions.
The SMART Registry is also beneficial for physicians to note theirpractice's performance levels. Over time, the registries have shown howpractices improve in terms of patient results.
These improvements are among the many ways IBC is working to more activelyengage members and their treating providers in their health care decisions andtheir overall treatment plans for chronic conditions. Also this summer, IBCannounced the introduction of a member incentive program called Rx for BetterHealth, which will waive the copays for many prescription drugs that are usedto treat certain chronic conditions. The program began July 1 and endsDecember 31, 2008. For more information go to www.ibx.com.
The SMART Registry complies with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability andAccountability Act of 1996) regulations that protect the privacy of apatient's personal health information. Such information is shared only withprimary care physicians and sent under a secure seal.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in SoutheasternPennsylvania. IBC and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.4 millionpeople. For 70 years, Independe