Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Montefiore Health System’s New Agreement Focuses on Improving Community Health

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Empire BlueCross BlueShield and Montefiore Health System announced a new agreement focused on improving the access to quality healthcare for people throughout New York City, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. This latest multi-year agreement continues the longstanding relationship between the two organizations. It features several new community outreach initiatives including health events, a partnership to support nutrition services for at-risk populations, and a mobile health unit to deliver essential testing and screening focused on improving the health of the community.

“We are on a mission to materially and measurably improve the health of all New Yorkers, and we know there are many critical healthcare needs in the Bronx, which ranks 62 out of New York’s 62 counties for health outcomes.i Today, as part of our mission, we signed a new agreement with Montefiore Health System that solidifies our commitment to protect affordability and access to quality care for our members. In these extraordinary times, it’s critical we build a more meaningful partnership that focuses on improving the health of the communities we jointly serve,” said Alan Murray, president, Empire BlueCross BlueShield.

“As we continue to face the challenges of the pandemic, innovative arrangements with insurers enable us to provide the best quality healthcare. Our new agreement with Empire BlueCross BlueShield is built on our mutual commitment to the communities we serve, and sets us on a continued path forward, together, to serve our patients,” said Colleen Blye, executive vice president and chief financial officer, Montefiore Health System.

This new deal builds on Empire’s mission and existing commitment to improving health outcomes in the Bronx. Empire’s work in the Bronx has included events that keep the community healthy, including mask and sanitizer distribution and flu pop-up clinics earlier this year, as well as grants for City Harvest’s Mobile Market Program and NYC Parks’ Shape Up program through Empire’s Foundation. Additionally, Empire is partnering with BronxNet Community Television and is a sponsor of the Go Bronx podcast.

The Bronx was the epicenter of the first wave of COVID-19, and Montefiore increased its bed capacity by 100% to treat COVID-19 patients, initially without federal or state funding. As part of its rapid response, Montefiore spent upwards of $350 million to procure personal protective equipment (PPE), establish seven COVID-19 testing sites throughout the Bronx and Westchester and hire additional out-of-state frontline staff. Montefiore’s ongoing investments include funding a robust telehealth program, establishing a COVID vaccine trials unit, and creating a research and care clinic, offering treatment for COVID patients with long-term chronic symptoms and related health issues. Montefiore serves a population of approximately three million people. Between March and June of 2020, the height of the pandemic, Montefiore treated and safely discharged more than 8,000 patients back to their homes.

About Empire BlueCross BlueShield in New York

Serving New Yorkers for 80 years, Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is on a mission to materially and measurably improve the health of New Yorkers. Empire is the largest health insurer in New York supporting more than four million members and more than 38,000 business, union and small employers in New York. Empire is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State.

About Montefiore Health System

Montefiore Health System is one of New York’s premier academic health systems and is a recognized leader in providing exceptional quality and personalized, accountable care to approximately three million people in communities across the Bronx, Westchester and the Hudson Valley. It is comprised of 10 hospitals, including the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore, Burke Rehabilitation Hospital and more than 200 outpatient ambulatory care sites. The advanced clinical and translational research at its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, directly informs patient care and improves outcomes. From the Montefiore-Einstein Centers of Excellence in cancer, cardiology and vascular care, pediatrics, and transplantation, to its preeminent school-based health program, Montefiore is a fully integrated healthcare delivery system providing coordinated, comprehensive care to patients and their families.