BCBSA sets tech challenge to use data to improve care

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The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is getting into the technology challenge game, inviting new companies to put forward their innovative solutions.

The national organization representing the nation’s Blues plans and Blue Health Intelligence, an independent licensee, is inviting visionary companies to enter the BlueCross BlueShield Data innovation Challenge.

The effort seeks to elicit solutions that have the potential to increase access to care, enhance patient engagement, and improve care delivery and outcomes.

The ultimate prize for the winner is six months of access to a limited dataset within Blue Health Intelligence’s database of more than 5 billion covered procedures performed annually, originating from more than 170 million active and inactive Blue Cross Blue Shield members.

In organizing the competition, the Blues organization is seeking submissions in three categories:

• Those that identify, predict and prioritize members and providers for real-time interventions

• Approaches that reduce barriers to care.

• Applications that enhance members’ journeys through the healthcare system.

Applicants can apply by providing a company and team overview; a proposed solution for a selected category; expected outcomes and impact; scalability requirements; and references. Interested companies can submit their proposals now through June 25.

Applicants with the most potential to leverage BHI’s dataset to address one of the categories will be provided access to a limited HIPAA-compliant relevant dataset and other BHI resources to test its hypothesis. Based on their preliminary results, the winner will be chosen in the fall.

The winning company will also receive mentorship and advice from BCBS companies and leaders of the Health Information and Management Systems Society.

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“The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the country are committed to making healthcare more accessible, more affordable and simpler to support the health of America,” says Bob Kolodgy, executive vice president and chief financial officer for BCBSA and BHI board member. “A major roadblock in advancing innovative solutions to improve how our healthcare system works is a lack of access to data.”

“By providing a leading-edge company with BHI’s dataset and state-of-the-art analytic resources and technologies, they’ll be in a position to develop meaningful solutions that don’t just break through barriers, but also increase patients’ access to care, make healthcare work more efficiently and improve health,” says Swati Abbott, CEO of Blue Health Intelligence, which pairs data resources with analysts, clinicians, IT experts and epidemiologists.

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