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First Wave of Providers to Deploy the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Payer Platform with Epic

CHICAGO — Access Community Health Network, DuPage Medical Group, NorthShore University HealthSystem and Northwest Community Healthcare are among the first providers in Illinois to agree to establish a two-way exchange of patient health information at the point of care with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL).

BCBSIL and healthcare software giant Epic are actively engaged with the Illinois provider community to deploy the Payer Platform, which will be a secure, interconnected system of health information between insurers and providers. Today, and looking into the future, this Payer Platform with Epic is designed to create a secure place to facilitate a more efficient exchange of health information in order to:  

  • Review patient data (medical information, including emergency room visits, diagnostic evaluations and lab results) which can be used for quality improvement and managing quality measures;
  • Provide the foundation for streamlining administrative processes, such as prior authorizations, paying claims, and other points of service; and,
  • Work to establish future care management strategies that will identify potential gaps in care, helping patients make smart health care choices that may help reduce personal health care costs.

BCBSIL is implementing the platform with existing Epic providers who have an expressed appetite for innovation and who are seeking pathways for improving care delivery in Illinois.

“Our Epic Payer Platform is a win-win for both BCBSIL and providers who seek to make a real difference in patient care and help lower the overall cost of care,” said Krishna Ramachandran, Vice President of Provider Performance at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “We’re appreciative of the providers who are embracing this transformative opportunity for a more data-driven approach to caring for our members.”

Early Platform Adopters

One of the nation’s largest networks of federally qualified health centers, Access Community Health Network (ACCESS) was an early Epic adopter and has leveraged its electronic health record (EHR) system to successfully manage and care for the needs of more than 175,000 patients each year.

“Having Epic’s Payer Platform embedded into our EHR system will help us not only reduce unnecessary paperwork for our patients but, it will allow us to equip our care teams with real-time information at the point of care to expose care gaps and provide care alerts,“ said ACCESS CFO and CIO Mahomed Ouedraogo.

DuPage Medical Group (DMG) is the largest inde­pen­dent, mul­ti-spe­cial­ty physi­cian group in Illi­nois. As a physician-led, patient-centered organization, DMG is focused on delivering high-quality and accessible healthcare to its patients and communities.

“We continually seek innovations that help us modernize healthcare delivery, alleviate the administrative burden for our providers and reduce unnecessary delays in the healthcare process,” said Steve Nelson, DMG CEO. “As we focus on offering innovative models of care, we continue to create strategic partnerships with organizations like BCBSIL that are at the forefront of technology and innovation. We’re excited to be one of the first adopters of this transformative platform.”

NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore) is an integrated healthcare delivery system, and in 2003 was the first such system in the U.S. to successfully launch an EHR system, demonstrating positive results in quality, safety, efficiency, data analytics and service to patients.

“We are excited to partner with BCBSIL and be a part of this unique payer platform experience that has the potential to enable us to greatly enhance the connectivity of our electronic medical record system while simultaneously developing more efficient processes for many of our patients,” said Nikki Stackhouse, NorthShore Assistant Vice President, Revenue Cycle.

Named one of Healthgrades™ America’s 250 best hospitals, Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH) is celebrating more than 60 years of exceptional care. The Arlington Heights campus is home to a 509-bed hospital with full-service retail pharmacy, behavioral health center and state-of-the-art NCH Wellness Center with spa.

“NCH is excited to partner with BCBSIL on this project. Having the ability to connect with the payer helps NCH better understand the health of our patients and their care needs. This program allows us to quickly and securely share information to support the following: scheduling preventative care, assisting in the management of chronic diseases, and supporting medication adherence,” said Executive Vice President and COO of Northwest Community Healthcare, Michael Hartke.

The Payer Platform will begin launching later this year followed by continued expansion in 2021 with more providers and future capabilities to improve information exchange on behalf of those we serve in the Illinois community.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health care to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing, and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media Contact

Colleen Miller 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association