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State of Tennessee Wins Excellence in Value-Based Purchasing Award

The State of Tennessee, a member of Memphis Business Group on Health (MBGH), was presented with the Employer Excellence in Value-Based Purchasing Award at the National Business Coalition on Health’s (NBCH) annual conference. The award is sponsored by Ethicon Endo-Surgery and Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems.

At the awards ceremony, Cristie Upshaw Travis, MBGH CEO, thanked the State on behalf of the citizens and tax payers of Tennessee, for taking bold steps to reign in the costs of public sector health benefits while, at the same time, improving the health of plan members and increasing accountability of the State's vendors and provider networks. Laurie Lee, Executive Director of the Division of Benefits Administration, accepted the award on behalf of the State of Tennessee.

The State provides health insurance benefits for 270,000 public sector employees, retirees and their dependents. Through 2010 the State had traditionally offered three separate plans with no major benefit changes. With health care cost increases, finite resources and a growing population health risk burden, a change was required to preserve health benefits.   

In 2011, a new plan was introduced to leverage the state’s purchasing power and vendor core competencies to drive costs down; give beneficiaries greater financial stake in their health and health care purchasing decisions; build data-driven cost containment and health management practices into the plan design framework; and increase the accountability of contractors, providers and members. This innovative new model is now in place and is expected to save the State more than $1 billion over five years.  

"I want to thank NBCH and Tennessee’s two business coalitions for recognizing the State’s efforts and in partnering with us to lead these market changes,” said Mark Emkes, Commissioner of Finance and Administration for the State of Tennessee. “Change isn't easy, even if it's necessary, and anyone can do the math to design a new benefit. Our challenge was to create a benefit design that matched the unique needs of our population and to get everyone on board. The health plan changes we introduced in 2011 provide a framework that holds all stakeholders – providers, members and contractors – accountable for outcomes that help preserve this important benefit for public sector employees and their families.”  

The State of Tennessee works with both business coalitions in Tennessee, MBGH and HealthCare 21 Business Coalition (HC21), to look for and implement additional opportunities engaging members and holding health plans accountable including participation in eValue8 and the National Diabetes Prevention Program. Gaye Fortner, President and CEO of HealthCare 21 Business Coalition, recognized the State's willingness to share their strategy, experience and expertise with other public and private sector members of MBGH and HC21, and their participation in key community-based initiatives across the state designed to improve the cost and quality of healthcare services and health benefits.

Posted by Cristie Travis at 7:10 AM

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