Excellus BCBS Launches Choosing Wisely® "Microsite"

​Excellus BlueCross BlueShield today launched a dedicated Choosing Wisely® "microsite" of resources developed by Consumer Reports® to help patients and clinicians engage in evidence-based conversations regarding their health care.

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield is licensed by Consumer Reports, the world’s largest independent, nonprofit consumer organization, to distribute Choosing Wisely content to its members, employers and the public.

The microsite can be accessed at http://consumerhealthchoices.org/excellusbcbs/.

Choosing Wisely is a clinician-led initiative developed by the ABIM Foundation in partnership with Consumer Reports.  It promotes conversations between patients and clinicians to improve the quality of care and reduce the use of unnecessary services that have little or no proven benefit.  More than 70 medical societies have contributed more than 450 recommendations of tests and treatments they say may be wasteful and should be discussed.

“Our analysis of regional health care data is guiding us to the Choosing Wisely recommendations that we know will have an immediate and positive impact on the quality of care in upstate New York,” said Matthew Bartels, M.D., Excellus BlueCross BlueShield medical director for health care improvement.  “We now have information about a number of specific recommendations readily available to view on the new microsite, and we will be adding more content to the site in the coming months.”

Among its efforts to work hand in hand with consumers for a fairer, safer and healthier world, Consumer Reports has developed a library of communications materials to help build meaningful discussions between clinicians and their patients about the most appropriate options for managing conditions or preventing illness.  

The microsite features Consumer Reports’ materials that relate to the recommendations the health plan is promoting in its upstate campaign, including imaging tests for low back pain and PSA testing for prostate cancer.  The campaign encourages both patients and clinicians to “Start the Conversation” about options for care, tests and procedures so that the treatment ultimately chosen is evidence-based, doesn’t duplicate other tests or procedures, is safe and is truly necessary.  

“Our health plan is working closely with local physicians, employers and patients to educate them about the Choosing Wisely recommendations and the educational resources that are available through Consumer Reports,” Dr. Bartels said.  “We’re also developing a number of infographics that support the Choosing Wisely recommendations on a variety of topics, including vitamin D testing, back pain, and early elective deliveries.”  The infographics can be found at https://www.excellusbcbs.com/wps/portal/xl/our/hpr/factsurveyreport/.

The national BlueCross BlueShield Association highlighted Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s Choosing Wisely campaign in its recently issued Investing in America’s Health (IAH) annual report.  A copy of the report is available at http://www.bcbs.com/about-the-association/in-the-community-2016.html.

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About Consumer Reports - Consumers Reports is an expert, independent, nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves.  As consumers become increasingly involved in their own health decisions, they need unbiased, accurate, evidence-based information to compare their options and to make appropriate choices for themselves and their families.  For more information about Consumer Reports Health go to www.ConsumerHealthChoices.org.

About Excellus BlueCross BlueShield - Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, a nonprofit independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association, is part of a family of companies that finances and delivers vital health care services to about 1.5 million people across upstate New York. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield provides access to high-quality, affordable health coverage, including valuable health-related resources that our members use every day, such as cost-saving prescription drug discounts and wellness tracking tools. To learn more, visitexcellusbcbs.com.

The Role of Consumer Reports and health plans in Choosing Wisely - To learn more about the role of Consumer Reports in the ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely initiative and the role of health plans in supporting the program, visithttp://consumerhealthchoices.org/connect/cr-response/ 

Contact: Joy Davia Auch (585) 238-4374; Jim Redmond (585) 238-4579

Source: Excellus BlueCross BlueShield