Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota recently launched a new value-based agreement with VillageHealth focused on certain members with chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). By working with VillageHealth, a DaVita Inc. subsidiary, the Blues plan hopes to improve member outcomes and reduce their total cost of care.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than one in seven adults in the U.S. — or 37 million people — have CKD, but most of them do not realize it. When the kidneys are damaged, this can result in high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and early death. If the condition is not treated, it can progress to ESRD, which requires a transplant or dialysis.

Program Will Coordinate Members’ Care

The program has a variety of components. VillageHealth and DaVita will collaborate with nephrologists and primary care physicians to coordinate care for plan members into an integrated plan. The program will launch an awareness campaign for primary care providers focused on improving screening for kidney disease, managing early-stage patients and offering appropriate referrals to nephrologists.

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