Lehigh Valley, Pa.,
06:00 AM

Highmark Blue Shield and Lehigh Valley Health Network Announce Lehigh Valley Flex Blue


Two local health industry organizations have announced plans to work together to create long-term health improvements in the community – improvements that can lower future health care cost trends for both employers and individuals.

Highmark Blue Shield (Highmark) has launched a new health insurance product* – Lehigh Valley Flex Blue – in Lehigh, Northampton and Schuylkill counties enabling Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) and other aligned providers to better manage the care members and patients receive, improving outcomes and lowering future health care costs.

Employers and individuals can enroll in Lehigh Valley Flex Blue coverage that is effective January 1, 2017. Members will also be able to access care at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hazleton, Luzerne County, and at Pocono Health System in Monroe County.

Employers, individuals to benefit

Lehigh Valley Flex Blue is designed for employers that are concerned with the cost of providing health insurance coverage to their employees, and ensuring that employees have access to local hospitals and doctors that are consistently recognized for quality care.

“Our goal with Lehigh Valley Flex Blue is to provide a cost-effective option for employers that want to provide employees with access to the best care,” said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president, Highmark Health Plan. “Lehigh Valley Health Network is a recognized leader in quality and in providing advanced, compassionate and comprehensive health care services to the communities it serves. We are pleased to collaborate with them so that our members can access that same high level of care.”

In addition, all Highmark members in the Lehigh Valley Flex Blue product will benefit from a greater coordination of care between the health insurer and LVHN.

“We will share data, resources and information to ensure that patients are getting the preventive services, tests, follow-up care and education they need in the most efficient manner, without duplication of care and unnecessary steps,” said Gregory G. Kile, senior vice president of Insurance and Payer Strategies, LVHN and president and CEO, Populytics. “In short, the Lehigh Valley Flex Blue product allows us to develop a collaborative relationship with Highmark focused on the overall health of the community and improving patients’ care experience; all while lowering the care cost trend.”

Highmark’s individual members and group customers in the Lehigh Valley Flex Blue product will have access to the entire Highmark and Blue Card network, which covers 92 percent of doctors and 96 percent of hospitals in the U.S., and will see enhanced value – such as lower out of pocket costs – when accessing doctors or facilities that are part of LVHN and other aligned providers.

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes five hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem and one in Hazleton, Pa. Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in the region, provides care in 28 specialties and general pediatrics. LVHN also is awaiting regulatory approval on proposed mergers with Schuylkill Health System in Pottsville and Pocono Health System in East Stroudsburg.

About LVHN

Lehigh Valley Health Network includes eight hospital campuses - three in Allentown including the region's only facility dedicated to orthopedic surgery, one in Bethlehem, one in East Stroudsburg, one in Hazleton and two in Pottsville, Pa.; 26 health centers caring for communities in seven counties; numerous primary and specialty care physician practices and 18 ExpressCARE locations throughout the region including the area’s only Children’s ExpressCARE at the Health Center at Palmer Township; pharmacy, imaging, home health services and lab services; extensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation services; and preferred provider services through Valley Preferred. Specialty care includes: trauma care at the region’s busiest, most-experienced trauma center treating adults and children, burn care at the regional Burn Center, kidney and pancreas transplants; perinatal/neonatal, cardiac, cancer care, orthopedics, and neurology and complex neurosurgery capabilities including national certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute, the Lehigh Valley Heart Institute and the Lehigh Valley Institute for Special Surgery give clinicians of the highest caliber the necessary infrastructure, programs and partnerships to help community members stay healthy and provide the most advanced treatment when needed. The Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute is a formal member of the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Alliance, a transformative initiative to improve the quality of care and outcomes for people with cancer in community health care settings, including access to key MSK clinical trials. Robotic surgery is offered in ten specialties across the health network with more than 10,000 procedures performed since 2007. Lehigh Valley Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital and Level 4 NICU in the region, provides care in more than 30 specialties and general pediatrics. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest has been recognized among the top five hospitals in Pennsylvania by U.S. News & World Report for for five consecutive years. Lehigh Valley Hospital–Cedar Crest, Lehigh Valley Hospital–17th Street and Lehigh Valley Hospital–Muhlenberg are national Magnet hospitals for excellence in nursing. Additional information is available by visiting LVHN.org, or following us on Facebook and Twitter.