As the collaboration begins to develop in 2013, electronic-assisted connections with the insurer will provide "almost real-time feedback" that NCH's physician medical director will be sharing with physicians.
For example, it turns out that NCH physicians had been ordering quite a bit of thyroid testing, particularly with patients who had already been admitted.
"You can't check them then because it's a bad time to measure," says Weiss.
So the system, based partially on data from the insurer, developed a new educational piece on how best perform thyroid testing.
"It's easy to do and makes sense so we don't do unnecessary tests," he says.
For another example, radiology is the single biggest cost outside the hospital and evidence shows that one third of them should not be done, says Weiss.
"For every 250 X-Rays performed, somebody gets cancer," he says. "These initiatives just encourage physicians to think of appropriateness," which many have never been trained to do.
Egos, he says, took a backseat in the work.
"We were past deciding who were the leaders and followers in this business relationship," he says. Instead, it was a question of exploring how we can use both of our resources together. They're expert at handling claims; they knew more about us via claims than sometimes we do. We know about quality. Together we filled in the blanks."