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July 26, 2018
Area(s) of Interest: Health Information Technology Physician Leadership 

Paul Markovich, president and CEO of Blue Shield California, on Friday addressed the California Medical Association’s (CMA) Board of Trustees, to discuss the payor’s initiatives to develop new health care technologies including shareable digital patient records and electronic claims among other initiatives.

Markovich told the CMA trustees that Blue Shield was seeking to reduce administrative costs significantly over the next three years to help support investment in numerous digital efforts.

Blue Shield and CMA announced in June a new, multi-year collaboration to develop and support a new health care model that includes technology support for independent physicians’ practices. Blue Shield and CMA launched pilot projects in Butte and Monterey counties to introduce the technology. Blue Shield is investing $30 million to support the commitment, with goal to scale the projects statewide.

“CMA is proud to collaborate with Blue Shield to bring California’s health care system further into the modern age,” said CMA President Theodore M. Mazer, M.D. “This innovative pilot project will utilize state-of-the-art technology to build a new health care model that expands and streamlines patient access to care while reducing administrative work.”

“This new pilot project will greatly improve patient care by utilizing technology to better meet the needs of patients in Butte County,” said former CMA President and Paradise Medical Group CEO Richard Thorp, M.D. “By streamlining administrative burdens for physicians and improving the delivery of high-quality care, this pilot project will enable physicians to focus more on treating patients rather than paperwork, and make it easier for small practices that serve rural areas to continue to provide care to our community.”

Blue Shield is involved in a number of other digital health projects, including efforts to develop a statewide electronic health record platform in California. The payor is also working on a new drug-price transparency service for prescribers and patients that provides real-time, patient specific cost information on their prescriptions and alternative drugs during the doctor visit.

Physicians based in Butte and Monterey who are interested in participating in the CMA/Blue Shield pilot project should contact communications@cmadocs.org.



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