Printer Friendly

BLUE CROSS AND BLUE SHIELD ASSOCIATION EXPANDS EVALUATION PROGRAM, WITH LOCAL PLAN MEDICAL DIRECTOR SERVING ON MEDICAL ADVISORY PANEL

 DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, announced a major expansion of its Technology Evaluation (TEC) program. The program's function is evaluating new and emerging medical technologies, including medical procedures, drugs and devices.
 Under the expansion, Kaiser Permanente becomes part of a cooperative agreement with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association that signals a major public collaborative effort. Now, this extensive program will also become available to the Kaiser Permanente Health Plans and others in the health care industry.
 The TEC program's review body, the Medical Advisory Panel (MAP), will also be expanded to include more experts in statistical analysis, clinical research and medical practice. These include members from the country's largest physician groups representing internists (American College of Physicians), family physicians (American Academy of Family Physicians) and pediatricians (American Academy of Pediatrics).
 Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Medical Director, Allen J. McBride, M.D., has been a member of the MAP since 1989, and will continue to serve following expansion. David Eddy, M.D., will guide the MAP as its Chief Scientific Advisor. Eddy also serves as senior advisor for health policy and management for Kaiser Permanente in California and is a Duke University faculty member.
 Up until now, TEC assessments were available only to member Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans. As part of the expansion, assessments will be offered on a subscription basis to all interested parties, including health care payers, managed care companies, physicians, medical research institutions and libraries. Since its formation in 1984, over 200 assessments have been conducted, making it one of the nation's leading technology evaluation organizations. The assessments offer scientific opinions, using objective scientific evidence to reach conclusions regarding the safety and efficacy of new medical technologies, and are meant to supply information to those who provide and manage medical care. Assessments are not recommendations on whether technologies should or shouldn't be considered eligible for insurance reimbursement.
 "Medical technology is evolving so rapidly that we must, as providers and consumers of health care, get a handle on what treatments will improve clinical outcomes," said Dr. Eddy. "Simply wishing that a promising new technology will work does not make it so. Only rigorous, scientific research will demonstrate whether a medical procedure will help patients live longer, better more functional lives."
 Dr. McBride of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina also stressed the importance of working collectively to measure the quality of medical care. "Medical technology is constantly improving, constantly offering new avenues of treatment and enhancing the quality of life for patients who need care. The MAP panel stays on the cutting edge of these emerging technologies, studies and evaluates the best scientific information, and offers credible opinion of what works, what doesn't and what is marginal," said McBride.
 "Now we are expanding our efforts to include more of the nation's top health care experts, and so the resource that we offer will be that much better. The fact that it will now be available to others in the industry marks a great advance. I know that for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, we've been able to use this valuable information to ensure we don't waste subscriber dollars on procedures of unproven clinical value. As one of the leaders in managed care," said McBride, "it's crucial for us to identify medical services which are most effective and valuable to our insured."
 -0- 9/13/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Meeker, 919-490-4264, or Kathryn Higgins, 919-490-4104, both of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina/


CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina ST: North Carolina IN: HEA INS SU:

MM-SB -- CH006 -- 1251 09/13/93 11:24 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1993 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 13, 1993
Words:630
Previous Article:BOEING RECEIVES MESSAGE FROM PRESIDENT CLINTON
Next Article:FLEET MORTGAGE GROUP REPORTS RECORD LOAN PRODUCTION FOR AUGUST; RETAIL PRODUCTION UP 48 PERCENT
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters