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Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield has taken over its formerly outsourced disease management program, Excellus officials said Thursday.
In a statement, Blues president and chief operating officer Christopher Booth explained the takeover as a cost-cutting move.
“We are doing this because our own employees are able to deliver comprehensive, high-quality health care management at a lower cost than the outside vendor we have been using for a number of years,” he said.
Excellus’ disease management services had been provided for some five years by an out-of-state firm.
The in-house operation provides virtually the same range of services—management of chronic conditions, acute care and end-of-life support—under the same terms as previously offered, Booth said. It additionally offers preventive care services, a feature not previously included.
“Disease management is being offered to most employer groups at no additional cost,” he said. “Any self-funded employer that wants to buy a higher level of enhanced services continues to be able to do so.”
Bringing the program in house adds 26 new positions and six temporary workers. The jobs are spread among Excellus’ operations in Utica, Buffalo and Rochester, Booth said. New staffers include nurses, respiratory therapists and data analysts.
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