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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Collaboration Receives Innovations Award for Rollout of Payer Platform

CHICAGO — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL), along with healthcare software giant Epic and NorthShore University HealthSystem (NorthShore), is receiving the Innovations Award at the 45th annual Chicago Health Executives Forum (CHEF) annual meeting held virtually on February 18th.

The CHEF Innovations Award recognizes the accomplishments of a health care team which has inspired leadership, change and advancement in the Chicago area health care community.

The joint team is being  recognized for implementation of the BCBSIL Payer Platform with Epic, which is a secure, interconnected system of health information between insurers and providers that can be utilized at the point of care. NorthShore was the first health care system in Illinois to deploy the Platform in December 2020 – moving to plan, implement and execute this data-driven approach to health care in less than 60 days, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that physicians, hospitals and other care providers need timely access to actionable information to help guide treatment. Patients need data in order to help choose the right provider, understand their test results, and better understand their health benefits. Insurers need data to strengthen collaboration with providers and drive value for its members and employer groups through improving health outcomes and avoiding unnecessary costs,” said Krishna Ramachandran, Vice President, Provider Performance at BCBSIL. “While there is still a lot of work ahead - the future of our health care system depends on strengthening partnerships that harness data across systems and deliver insights in real time. Partnerships like this one – help us get closer. Thank you to the Chicago Health Executives Forum for this award and for recognizing that our Payer Platform is an example of innovation in process and innovation of purpose coming together.“

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

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.

Following initial adoption of the Platform by NorthShore, other early adopters include Northwest Community Healthcare, which launched January 11, 2021 and Access Community Health Network, which went live on February 4, 2021. Additional Illinois providers are continuing to be on-boarded to the Platform.


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

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