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Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield and Conemaugh Health System announce joint effort to reduce health care cost trends and improve patient care

Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

PITTSBURGH (Oct. 14, 2016) — Two local health industry organizations have announced plans to work together to create long-term health improvements in the community — improvements that can lower employers' health care cost and better manage patients' care.

One result of this collaboration is the development of a new health insurance product — Conemaugh Region Connect Blue, a Community Blue Plan — that Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield (Highmark) will be launching in the Greater Johnstown region of western Pennsylvania. This product will enable Conemaugh Health System (Conemaugh) and other aligned providers to better manage the care members and patients receive, improving outcomes and lowering future health care costs.

Employers can enroll in Conemaugh Region Connect Blue coverage that is effective January 1, 2017. Members in the new product will have Preferred Value benefits — such as lower out of pocket costs — when accessing the high-quality care through the Conemaugh Health System of providers including Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, Conemaugh Meyersdale, Conemaugh Miners, Nason Hospital and Conemaugh employed or affiliated independent physicians.

Employers, members to benefit

Conemaugh Region Connect 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 Conemaugh Region Connect Blue is to provide a cost-effective option for employers that want to provide employees with access to the best care near to where they work and live," said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president, Highmark Health Plan. "Conemaugh Health system is a recognized leader in quality and has repeatedly earned state and national recognition for exceptional clinical outcomes. We are pleased to collaborate with them so that our members can access that high level of care."

In addition, all Highmark members in Conemaugh Region Connect Blue will see the same preferred value when accessing care at Conemaugh Physician Group's multi-specialty practices, Conemaugh's ambulatory care centers and its urgent care centers.

"We are pleased to partner with Highmark on Conemaugh Region Connect Blue," said Steve Tucker, Conemaugh Health System CEO. "This plan offers a cost effective option for local employers with strong care coordination, and a focus on improving patient care and making our communities healthier."

Highmark's group customers in Conemaugh Region Connect Blue will also have access to the quality care and value provided by the entire Highmark and Blue Card network, which covers 92 percent of doctors and 96 percent of hospitals in the U.S.

Conemaugh Health System includes four hospital campuses with more than 600 licensed acute, rehab and long-term beds and a physician practice with more than 120 primary care and physician specialists at 40 locations.

About Conemaugh Health System

Conemaugh Health System, a member of Duke LifePoint Healthcare, is the largest healthcare provider in west central Pennsylvania, serving over a half-million patients each year through the Conemaugh Physician Group and Medical Staff, a network of hospitals, specialty clinics and patient focused programs. Conemaugh's 4,500+ employees and 350+ physicians are committed to excellence and repeatedly earn state and national recognition for exceptional clinical outcomes. Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, the system's flagship hospital, provides sophisticated technology, the highest levels of trauma and neonatal intensive care and a committed history of training tomorrow's physician, nurses and allied health providers. For more information on Conemaugh, visit us at or follow us on Facebook.

About Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Highmark Inc. doing business as Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield serves approximately 3.3 million members through the company's health care benefits business and hundreds of thousands of additional members through the Blue card program. It employs more than 4,200 people in western, north central and northeastern Pennsylvania. Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information, visit

For more information, contact:
Amy Bradley
Conemaugh Health System
Aaron Billger
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield