Doctors are a naturally competitive bunch. CareFirst has tapped into that to tackle health costs.

What's one of the most effective ways to get doctors to change their referral and drug-prescribing habits, two of best-known drivers of health care costs? Tap into their competitive sides.

That's what CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell told attendees at the recent Health Datapalooza conference in D.C. as he discussed how data has become a secret weapon for the Owings Mills-based insurer, the region's largest.

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