By Sharon Begley NEW YORK (Reuters) - In one of the largest tests of a novel way to deliver and pay for healthcare, insurer CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield announced on Thursday that 1.1 million people receiving care through its "patient-centered medical homes" last year were hospitalized less often and stayed for fewer days compared to patients in traditional fee-for-service care. Medical homes, a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform, have been heralded as one of the best hopes for reducing the cost of U.S. healthcare, the highest in the world, and improving its quality, which lags that of many other wealthy countries. According to CareFirst, its medical home program, in its fourth year, also delivered high-quality care, measured by yardsticks such as whether doctors gave recommended cancer screenings and immunizations. The savings reached a level "I wouldn't have thought possible," said CareFirst President Chet Burrell.
Conditions: Closure for extended rock blasting operation east of Snoqualmie Pass summit. Eastbound traffic is stopped at Gold Creek milepost 56, westbound traffic is stopped at milepost 61 Price Creek and milepost 71 Easton. No services are available past exit 53 eastbound and exit 70 westbound during blast closures.