Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Ochsner Health System Announce Partnership to Address State’s Poor Health Outcomes and Rising Healthcare Costs

Sept. 11, 2017

BATON ROUGE (Sept. 11, 2017) — Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana — the largest insurer in the state — and Ochsner Health System — a nationally ranked, global healthcare destination — announced a unique partnership. Together, the two organizations are working to identify solutions to help remedy rising healthcare costs, increase access to healthcare options and address quality issues for individuals and businesses in Louisiana. 

The relationship represents a unique payor-provider partnership in which the two organizations will operate under shared governance and have joint responsibility for financial performance, market strategy, clinical care model design and data sharing responsibilities to drive value for patients through jointly designed insurance products. These products will deliver a market-leading care experience at a much more affordable cost.

“What’s unique is that an insurer and provider are now aligned with a shared vision of what it takes to improve the health delivery system and we are working in partnership with Ochsner Health System to do just that,” says Blue Cross President and CEO Steve Udvarhelyi.  “We both understand that transforming healthcare is the only way to achieve the results we need in terms of quality and value.” 

Ranked 49th in the 2016 America’s Health Rankings report, poor health outcomes and rising costs are an ongoing problem for Louisiana. Meanwhile, six of the 10 most expensive places to purchase healthcare in the nation are in Louisiana according to a 2013 Institute of Medicine study looking at Medicare markets. 

“When you look at the data and the significant need in our state, partnerships like this are critical to make significant improvement,” says Ochsner Health System President and CEO Warner Thomas. “We partner with like-minded organizations, such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, who share our vision to improve quality and outcomes, provide more access to care and make healthcare more affordable across Louisiana.”

A first solution brought forward by this partnership is a new and revitalized product, Blue Connect, which provides Blue Cross members with coordinated, focused care and preferred access to Ochsner and its partners.  

Blue Connect members will have access to a network of primary care doctors, specialists, hospitals, labs and other healthcare providers, which include most of Ochsner’s 29-owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 2,500 physicians.

Patients on the Blue Connect plan will benefit from same-day appointments, telehealth services and concierge-type access to care.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is a tax-paying nonprofit health insurer. We are a private mutual company, owned by our policyholders, with an independent Louisiana Board of Directors and no shareholders. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is committed to our mission to improve the health and lives of Louisianians. With our subsidiaries, HMO Louisiana and Southern National Life, we provide group and inpidual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to one out of four Louisiana residents, as well as a full line of Medicare supplement plans and Medicare Advantage. Headquartered in Baton Rouge, we have eight regional offices to serve our customers around the state. 

Blue Cross is deeply committed to the communities we serve. Blue Cross invests both time and money in the health and wellbeing of Louisiana children by supporting more than 200 charitable organizations. Blue Cross invites and encourages all Louisianans to visit our website at

About Ochsner Health System

Ochsner Health System is Louisiana’s largest non-profit, academic, healthcare system. Driven by a mission to Serve, Heal, Lead, Educate and Innovate, coordinated clinical and hospital patient care is provided across the region by Ochsner's 29 owned, managed and affiliated hospitals and more than 80 health centers and urgent care centers. Ochsner is the only Louisiana hospital recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a “Best Hospital” across four specialty categories caring for patients from all 50 states and more than 80 countries worldwide each year. Ochsner employs more than 18,000 employees and over 1,100 physicians in over 90 medical specialties and subspecialties, and conducts more than 600 clinical research studies. Ochsner Health System is proud to be a tobacco-free environment. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.