Combating coronavirus with data
As communities everywhere work to slow the spread of coronavirus, keep the public informed and efficiently allocate a limited supply of vital resources, the effective collection and sharing of data has become a linchpin of efforts to predict and adapt quickly to meet public health needs.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are at the forefront of this effort, collaborating with healthcare systems, public agencies and government leaders through public-private partnerships to collect and analyze data to better understand this virus and appropriately distribute medical supplies and resources as well as treat patients.
Here are some examples:
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Michigan Medicine – the University of Michigan’s academic medical center – and 35 hospitals across the state are collecting comprehensive clinical data from COVID-19 patients as part of MI-COVID 19, an extensive clinical registry aimed at providing understanding of best practices to use in treating coronavirus patients. The multi-site registry will offer insights across numerous geographic, economic and demographic bands with a goal of better identifying factors associated with higher levels of critical illness and poorer outcomes. It also will be used in determining patient characteristics and treatment regimens associated with improved outcomes as well as understanding the long-term complications of the virus.
In early March, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana (BCBSLA) began working closely with the Louisiana Department of Health to share its data and analytics expertise and technology to inform the state’s COVID-19 response. They have been aggregating, analyzing and modeling data for BCBSLA and Medicaid members – which account for two out of three Louisianians to make projections regarding rates of hospitalization and death, hospital capacity and appropriate allocation of supplies. BCBSLA configured the “Louisiana COVID-19 Outbreak Tracker” out of its proprietary platform Pi (Performance Insights), allowing state officials to track the spread of COVID-19, as well as demonstrate predictive modeling and simulate scenarios.
CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, the University of Maryland Medical System, Johns Hopkins Health System and the City of Baltimore have come together as part of a collaborative effort to share resources in the fight against COVID-19. The partnership involves tracking existing resources including medical supplies, ventilators and hospital bed capacity to better understand where shortages may occur and to prioritize allocations. Collecting and maintaining data on confirmed cases helps officials determine and plan for potential hot spots. The collaboration also includes a call center, developed and led by CareFirst, to connect symptomatic or exposed residents to trained healthcare professionals, increasing resources to the community and care coordination among all partners.
*All data collected maintains patient confidentiality.