HEALTH PLANS/TECH: Selling out a name–et tu Harvard?

Over at HISTalk there’s frequent criticism of "awards" that are handed out by analysts to vendors, and frequent assessment of which consultants can be trusted as independent, as opposed to which ones will "sell" an award. Frost and Sullivan gets a particularly bad rap over there on the latter issue.

Which all struck me as a little strange when I saw this press release. South Carolina Blues has won an award for its pre-certification technology. Who bestowed this honor?  Harvard School of Public Health’s Dept of Health Care Policy.

BlueWorks is a partnership between the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association and Harvard’s Department of Health Care Policy that recognizes
innovative Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies working with doctors and
hospitals to increase the efficiency and consistency of care delivery
nationwide. <SNIP> Since 2004, Harvard Medical School’s Department of Health Care
Policy has named 35 Blue Cross and Blue Shield programs as BlueWorks winners.

Of course all major Universities collaborate with business, but I’m not sure I recall one going into the "handing out prizes" part of consulting. Anyone know any more?

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2 replies »

  1. Just to clarify, it was the Harvard Medical School’s Dept. of Health Policy that gave the award to BCBS-SC. There’s also a department of health policy and management at HSPH and a department of health policy at the Harvard Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Not confusing in the least, I know.

  2. Their are way too many awards out there in Health IT and they don’t necessarily have much real backing. More a marketing issue. Even the KLAS Ratings, which are based exclusively on customer feedback, still have to be wary of their relations with vendors.
    That said, BCBS of South Carolina is probably one of the top 3 or 4 savviest IT Blues plans (along with BCBS of Minnesota, BCBS of Florida, HCSC, and a few others). The BCBS of South Carolina CIO is a bright guy and BCBS of South Carolina really has been ahead of the curve on the health plan side of moving from paper to electronic-based business processes and really trying to work with providers to simplify/improve their relationship around IT-related issues.