Vital Signs: Anthem partners with EMHS to improve care, lower costs

Maine’s largest health insurer has teamed up with Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems under a new venture aimed at keeping patients healthier while reducing costs.

The deal involves Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Maine, EMHS, and an EMHS-led coalition of hospitals and physician practices across the state already working to improve the value of health care.

EMHS and its partners have agreed to avoid any cost increase for services they deliver to 40,000 Anthem policyholders. In making that pledge, EMHS has put potentially millions of dollars at stake.

Anthem partners with Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems to improve care, lower costs for 40,000

Other top health stories this week:

Spike in number of patients needing psychiatric care spurs Mid Coast Hospital ER expansion

The average number of visits of behavioral health patients to the hospital’s emergency department has more than doubled since 2010 from 64 a month to 158 a month in 2014.

Weight loss program for kids at EMMC works to boost confidence, teach healthy lifestyles

Doctors stay away from talking about numbers on the scale and instead focus on building confidence and teaching patients that with a few simple lifestyle changes positive things can happen.

 

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Compiled by BDN Health Editor Jackie Farwell

Jackie Farwell

About Jackie Farwell

I'm the health editor for the Bangor Daily News, a Bangor native, a UMaine grad, and a weekend crossword warrior. I never get sick of writing about Maine people, geeking out over health care data, and finding new ways to help you stay well. I live in Gorham with my husband Nick and our hound dog Riley.