Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Launches 2014 Annual Report Website
CEO Andrew Dreyfus Points To Major Opportunities for Collaboration With Consumers, Employers and Providers
PR Newswire

BOSTON, Feb. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA) today launched its 2014 annual report website, which focuses on the company's collaborative approach to meeting the health care needs of its 2.8 million members and more than 29,400 employer accounts.

The report, entitled "Together We're Making Quality Health Care Affordable," includes stories and videos featuring Blue Cross' customers and provider partners and an overview of 2014 business results, including the company's Corporate Citizenship and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives.

In his introductory letter, Andrew Dreyfus, Blue Cross president and CEO, outlines three opportunities for collaboration that, "have the potential to reshape how we think about, and experience, health care in Massachusetts and across the country." They are:

Getting in step with consumers: Blue Cross is developing new ways to make the health care experience simpler and more responsive to patients and consumers. "We operate in a complex, fragmented health care system that is out of step with what consumers demand in many other aspects of their lives, especially when their money or well-being are at stake," Dreyfus explains. "Our members want us to simplify their experience, anticipate their needs, and engage with them on their terms."

Changing payment incentives: The Blue Cross Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) rewards doctors and hospitals for higher quality and better outcomes. In 2014, independent researchers examined the first four years of the AQC and found that it has lowered costs and improved patient care for HMO Blue members. In a video interview featured in the annual report, Harvard Medical School researcher, Zirui Song, M.D., Ph.D., says, "This new kind of contract asks doctors and hospitals, together, to think about prevention, to think about high-value care, to think about reducing waste."

Turning the tide on chronic disease: Five percent of Blue Cross members account for half of the company's medical costs, Dreyfus points out, and most of them have multiple chronic conditions linked to lifestyle risks and behaviors like diet, physical activity, and tobacco use.  "By focusing on what happens outside the doctor's office – in people's homes, communities, and work sites – we can help to improve our members' quality of life, reduce the burden of illness, and slow the rise in health care costs," he says.

The annual report's "Customer Solutions" stories and videos focus on companies ranging in size from Boston Scientific, a national leader in health care technology and devices to James Hook & Co., a family-owned small business that has been selling lobsters in Boston for more than 90 years. Also featured are Genesis HR Solutions in Burlington, the Hampshire Group Insurance Trust, the town of Saugus, and a new Medicare product developed in collaboration with select Massachusetts physicians groups, including Steward Health Care System.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, a not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston, has been rated among the nation's leading health plans for member satisfaction and quality of care, and has been recognized numerous times for its leadership and ongoing investments in corporate citizenship and diversity and inclusion. In 2014, ninety cents of every dollar the company spent was for its members' medical care. Although audited financial results will not be available for several months, the company paid approximately $13 billion for health care services and prescription drugs in 2014, and another $286 million in taxes and government assessments.

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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts