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BUSINESS
March 16, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, STAFF WRITER
Independence Blue Cross said it is offering telemedicine services to certain employer groups through MDLIVE, a national company that connects patients with primary-care physicians by telephone, video or mobile app. MDLIVE physicians, who will be paid through a contract MDLIVE has with IBC, can make diagnoses and prescribe medicines. Separately, IBC members will be able to have a video chat with their local primary-care physician if their physician offers the services, the Philadelphia insurer said.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2014 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Independence Blue Cross' profits tumbled last year to their lowest level since the region's largest health insurer lost money in 2008 and 2009, according to IBC's annual report on its website. The Center City company reported net income of $142.6 million in 2013, down by a quarter from $191.5 million in 2012, despite a 5 percent increase in revenue, the annual report's bare-bones financial statement said. Total revenue was $11.05 billion, up from $10.48 billion, the company said.
NEWS
March 18, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Independence Blue Cross is hiring 100 nurses as health coaches this year to intensify attention on members with certain chronic conditions, Richard Snyder, the health insurer's chief medical officer said. The health coaches will be the "go to" person at IBC for members in the program, Snyder said in a panel discussion Thursday at a meeting of the Philadelphia Health IT Circle. "This consistency ensures patient-centered coaching that is individualized and coordinated," Snyder said.
BUSINESS
August 9, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Independence Blue Cross plans to ask the Pennsylvania Insurance Department on Thursday for permission to reorganize its complicated corporate structure to allow the Philadelphia health insurer to adapt more quickly to changes in the market. "We're redesigning a 75-year-old structure that reflects our past, not our present or our future," said Daniel J. Hilferty, IBC's president and chief executive. "This redesign will give us a structure similar to our competitors and peers.
BUSINESS
June 28, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Can beeping pill bottles help heart-attack survivors remember to take their medicines? That's one of the studies being undertaken in a research partnership announced Wednesday between Independence Blue Cross and Penn Medicine. The research collaboration requires a heavy dose of information technology, said Somesh Nigam, senior vice president and chief informatics officer at IBC. "Almost all of them require data from multiple sources," Nigam said. "Most importantly they require a 360 view of our members, our patients.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
No matter who wins next year's presidential election, it's a sure bet that the new leader will want to tinker with the Affordable Care Act, says Independence Blue Cross CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. And when it happens, Hilferty wants to be at the table. "From a Blue insurers' perspective, we want it to work," said Hilferty, who, effective immediately, will become board chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of America. The job, while unpaid, comes with clout. The association provides health insurance to 105 million people, or a third of the nation, through 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield member companies, including Independence, this region's largest insurer.
BUSINESS
May 1, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Independence Blue Cross said Monday that it would spend close to $1 million over three years in a research collaboration with New York University to spot cases of undiagnosed diabetes and predict who is vulnerable for developing the disease. IBC's contribution includes a $600,000 grant and other support. The researchers at NYU's Initiative in Data Science and Statistics will apply artificial-intelligence tools to IBC's medical and pharmacy claims data to predict the future rather than analyze the past.
NEWS
April 30, 2013
Independence Blue Cross said it will spend close to $1 million over three years in a research collaboration with New York University to learn how to use large-scale data analysis to spot cases of undiagnosed diabetes and to predict pre-diabetes.   IBC's contribution includes a $600,000 grant and other support. The researchers at NYU's Initiative in Data Science and Statistics will use IBC's medical and pharmacy claims data to develop artificial-intelligence methods for predicting which patients have undiagnosed diabetes and which patients are at risk of developing diabetes.
BUSINESS
May 25, 2013 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
Independence Blue Cross said Thursday its net income last year was $191.5 million, down 39 percent from 2011. Officials at the health insurer, based in Center City, said that the 2012 bottom line was dragged down by a $90 million expense for a new operating platform and that 2011 results were boosted by a one-time $87 million gain from a joint venture. IBC's 2012 operating profit was $402.6 million, up 12 percent from $361.4 million the year before. "Despite the uncertain economy and the significant changes ahead in health care, for the third year in a row, we had a solid year," Daniel J. Hilferty, president and chief executive, said on a conference call with reporters.
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NEWS
August 18, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, Staff Writer
Aetna Inc.'s decision to withdraw from Affordable Care Act exchanges in Pennsylvania and 10 other states means that Independence Blue Cross will be the only major firm offering individual plans for 2017 to Southeastern Pennsylvania residents. In its announcement Monday, Aetna, of Hartford, Conn., cited a second-quarter loss of $200 million on the exchange business because a large number of newly insured people needed high-cost care. Aetna serves about 31,000 Pennsylvanians through the marketplace, about 6 percent of the state's individual health insurance market, according to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department.
NEWS
July 3, 2016
A structured walking program that offered encouragement and support improved participants' mood and energy levels and even led to the shedding of a few pounds, a study by Independence Blue Cross found. The research, which was published June 27 in the American Journal of Health Promotion, involved about 460 randomly chosen employees. Half the participants worked for companies insured by IBC with managers who typically put up posters or offered other passive walking encouragement.
BUSINESS
March 16, 2016 | By Harold Brubaker, STAFF WRITER
Independence Blue Cross said it is offering telemedicine services to certain employer groups through MDLIVE, a national company that connects patients with primary-care physicians by telephone, video or mobile app. MDLIVE physicians, who will be paid through a contract MDLIVE has with IBC, can make diagnoses and prescribe medicines. Separately, IBC members will be able to have a video chat with their local primary-care physician if their physician offers the services, the Philadelphia insurer said.
NEWS
February 7, 2016 | By Julie Appleby, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
Independence Blue Cross' announcement that it will cover a complex type of genetic testing for some cancer patients thrusts the insurer into the debate about how to handle an increasing array of these expensive tests. The Philadelphia-based insurer - with 3 million members - became the largest to cover whole genome sequencing for select cancer patients. The analysis looks at the entire sequence of each tumor's DNA and identifies mutated genes. Physicians can request this for children with tumors, patients with rare cancers, and those with triple negative breast cancer or who have exhausted conventional therapies for metastatic cancer.
BUSINESS
December 19, 2015 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Staff Writer
No matter who wins next year's presidential election, it's a sure bet that the new leader will want to tinker with the Affordable Care Act, says Independence Blue Cross CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. And when it happens, Hilferty wants to be at the table. "From a Blue insurers' perspective, we want it to work," said Hilferty, who, effective immediately, will become board chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of America. The job, while unpaid, comes with clout. The association provides health insurance to 105 million people, or a third of the nation, through 36 Blue Cross and Blue Shield member companies, including Independence, this region's largest insurer.
BUSINESS
October 28, 2015 | By Jonathan Takiff, Inquirer Staff Writer
If they Dreamit, will the dollars follow? And our health improve? Several newly spawned Philadelphia-based start-ups with health applications made that pitch Monday at the third annual Dreamit Health Demo Day in Center City. Products ran the gamut from the Smart Mouthguard wearable from Gray Matter, which measures if athletes have suffered a concussion (50 percent now go undetected), to a tracking system for cancer patients, Oncora Medical, that calculates if doctors are overdoing it on the treatment.
BUSINESS
September 26, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on Thursday unveiled an expanded database that will help individual Blues, like Philadelphia's Independence, drill down into the cost of care for their corporate customers who have operations nationwide. "We as Blues are taking seriously the challenge of, while maintaining our individual nature, being seen as a national player," said Daniel J. Hilferty, chief executive of Independence Health Group, parent of Independence Blue Cross. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, whose members cover 105 million Americans, has maintained a claims database for a decade, and Independence has contributed for years.
BUSINESS
September 4, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Independence Blue Cross Foundation will spend $1.5 million over the next three years to improve access to primary care at safety-net health centers in Southeastern Pennsylvania, the organization said Wednesday. The 42 non-profit, privately-funded health centers in the foundation's Blue Safety Net will be eligible for grants to expand access to care through telemedicine and to explore new care models, such as the including behavioral-health services in primary care, the foundation said.
BUSINESS
August 24, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The tsunami of mergers announced last month - Aetna's purchase of Humana and Anthem's purchase of Cigna - is expected to transform the health insurance industry, if the deals survive antitrust scrutiny by regulators. The consolidation will create three national giants, including UnitedHealth Group Inc., each with more than $100 billion in annual revenue, and add to the pressure on smaller Blue Cross-Blue Shield operators to merge. But don't count Independence Blue Cross, the region's largest health insurer and a major Center City employer, among those on the ropes.
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