SOURCE: Independence Blue Cross

Independence Blue Cross

June 28, 2013 13:18 ET

Drexel University and IBC Team Up on Executive Education Program to Better Leverage Data Analytics

PHILADELPHIA, PA--(Marketwired - June 28, 2013) -  Independence Blue Cross (IBC) recently teamed up with Drexel University's LeBow College of Business to develop a Business Analytics Certificate program as a new way to further develop its informatics staff and prepare them for the many opportunities to improve health care coming with health care reform. The first class of IBC associates completed the program in May and a new class of students will begin this fall.

"Drexel's custom-designed program gives our workforce a deeper understanding of how data-based decisions can improve health care quality and lower costs," said Somesh Nigam, Ph.D., senior vice president and IBC's chief informatics officer. "Data and analytics are key enablers for optimizing the delivery of health care and our leadership in this area will be critical to our future success and to helping us better serve our members." 

The Business Analytics Certificate program includes coursework in statistical analysis and participants create detailed case studies based on relevant business issues, such as predicting the likelihood of ER visits and hospitalizations, finding ways to reduce readmissions, and evaluating the effectiveness of wellness programs. Courses are taught primarily at IBC headquarters by LeBow professors. The 15-month program includes five credit and three non-credit courses. IBC employees can continue toward an MBA or an M.S. in Business Analytics by applying the credits toward another degree.

"Our corporate culture is evolving to better foster innovation within our own walls, the community and the industry, and education plays a key role," added Nigam. "Technology and specifically the use of big data in our business will be increasingly important to help us foster collaboration among different stakeholders to offer higher quality, more patient-centered care."

"We are very pleased to partner with IBC on this unique program, which has already received rave reviews from the inaugural class," said Kris Risi, Ph.D., executive director of Corporate and Executive Education at LeBow College. "We're very impressed with the quality of the IBC students, their energy and their dedication to the program. The program was designed with an applied focus to address real-life business problems. Offering experiential education that immediately benefits both the employee and employer is the hallmark of Drexel LeBow."

About Independence Blue Cross
Proudly celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2013, Independence Blue Cross is the leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania serving more than seven million people nationwide, including 2.2 million in the region. We are enhancing the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve by delivering innovative and competitively priced health care products and services; pioneering new ways to reward doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals for coordinated, quality care; and supporting programs and events that promote wellness. To learn more about how we're changing the game, visit Connect with us on Facebook at and on Twitter at @ibx. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

About Drexel LeBow's Corporate and Executive Education
Drexel LeBow's Corporate and Executive Education creates a real return on learning by providing practical tools and frameworks that produce immediate impact for organizations and their associates. CEE designs programs for executives at various levels that provide the skills and tools needed to gain a competitive advantage. Corporate and Executive Education connects Drexel LeBow faculty research with the needs of today's business leaders, offering custom learning solutions that are delivered as degree or non-degree programs. Our clients develop leaders, build a shared vision and improve critical thinking and decision making.

Contact Information

  • Contacts: 
    Ruth Stoolman
    PR Manager
    Independence Blue Cross

    Leda Kopach 
    Assistant Director 
    Office of Communications 
    LeBow College of Business 
    Drexel University