Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska (BCBSNE) is joining with Clarkson Regional Health Services Inc. as partners in Think Whole Person Healthcare in Omaha, NE.

“Think has been leading the way in changing how health care is practiced in Nebraska,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, BCBSNE executive vice president. “The independent primary care model plays a key role in Think’s success. By treating the whole person, in a coordinated effort, Think has been able to improve the quality of care and reduce costs. With Clarkson’s help, we hope to expand upon what we’ve started.”

Dr. Joann Schaefer, BCBSNE executive vice president

“Clarkson is committed to improving the health of our region through early detection and a continuous relationship with the patient,” said Dr. Jim Canedy, president of Clarkson Regional Health Services, Inc. “The process Think has created supports that mission.”

Dr. Jim Canedy, president Clarkson Regional Health Services

Think is lowering the cost of care by keeping people well, out of the emergency room and the hospital, through a team approach with patients, physicians, care coordinators, pharmacists and registered nurses working together. The clinic also has a pharmacy and walk-in urgent care.

According to Think’s data, this approach is working. For Medicare patients alone, Think delivered Nebraska’s lowest cost of care per person in 2017 at $8,798. That’s a savings of $1,244 compared to the state average of $10,042 and $2,067 compared to the national average of $10,865. Think has one of the highest Medicare quality ratings among the nation’s 472 accountable care organizations.

“Our growth will be accelerated and enhanced because of this new partnership,” Rick Pane, Think’s CEO, said. “We are actively seeking new physicians and have started our first off-site clinic.”

Clarkson’s Canedy added, “Our new partnership in Think joins together two organizations with long and proud histories of serving the people of Nebraska. This year, Clarkson celebrates 150 years of service, and Blue Cross 80 years. We are both deeply committed to improving the health of our community, and we believe this partnership is a step forward in that shared mission.”

Dr. Robert Recker, M.D., Think primary care physician