A group of 20 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans is trying to increase insurers’, employers’ and consumers’ of the health care system by establishing the Blue Health Intelligence system.

The system will include claims information, without personal identifiers, for 79 million patients and will offer access to aggregate data only to the participating plans, according to BHI program organizers at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Chicago.

Organizers are hoping the database will help users understand health care trends, analyze the effectiveness of specific treatments and technologies, and compare the performance of specific employer-sponsored plans to the performance of comparable plans in the employer’s region or industry.

“This information will help Blue Cross and Blue Shields plans work with their customers to develop and offer more valuable employee benefits,” says Gail Boudreaux, BHI board co-chair and an executive vice president at Health Care Service Corp., Chicago.

Organizers are testing the BHI program at 3 Blues plans and hope to put it into operation by 2007.

The group setting up the BHI program includes many units of WellPoint Inc., Indianapolis, as well as nonprofit Blues plans such as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida, Jacksonville, Fla.; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Boston; and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.

Computer Sciences Corp., El Segundo, Calif., has a 2-year, $21.5 million agreement to develop the database.

The company notes that the database can house records for up to 100 million people.

ViPS Inc., Towson, Md., will supply data modeling software for the project, and Milliman Inc., Seattle, will supply data validation services.