BOSTON, March 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How will consumer needs, preferences, and life goals shape the way health care is experienced in the future? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) offers some answers in its 2015 annual report by showcasing new programs that make health care more personalized and easier to navigate.
In his introduction to the online report, Blue Cross president and CEO Andrew Dreyfus writes: "Too often, individuals and families have had to deal with complex systems and rules largely designed to meet the needs of professionals and organizations. Change is underway, and I expect Blue Cross to be at the forefront of the movement to redesign health insurance and the delivery of care around the people who use it."
Over the past year, Blue Cross has launched several initiatives that will make it easier for members to choose high-quality care, understand and manage their costs, and improve their health and well-being, with many more in the pipeline. Among those featured in the annual report are:
- A secure text messaging system (Message Wire) to connect members with timely information about health, wellness, and the use of their benefits.
- A new generation of online tools that members can use to find a doctor or other care provider and to calculate what their out-of-pocket costs will be.
- A Telehealth benefit that lets Blue Cross members conduct a real-time, secure video visit with a doctor or behavioral health therapist using a smart phone, tablet, or computer.
Blue Cross's commitment to creating an exceptional member experience is central to its Blue Cross Blue Shield…of You brand campaign, which features inspirational stories about individual members. "Health care choices should be an extension of how people express what is important to them," says Dreyfus, "We want to be a part of that – offering our members whatever support we can in achieving their personal health and life goals."
Personalizing and simplifying the health care experience will also pay dividends for employers who want their employees to be involved in decisions about their care, in partnership with their clinicians. For example, some of the latest Blue Cross products and services link savings – for employers and employees – to the use of lower-cost, high-quality hospitals, participation in health and wellness programs, and increased adherence to recommended treatments.
Another 2015 milestone featured in the annual report is the expansion of Blue Cross's highly successful quality-based contract model, which rewards physicians and hospitals when they improve quality of care and outcomes while lowering costs. Blue Cross now includes both HMO and PPO members in its quality contracts and has added new performance measures that are based on clinical data and patient feedback. Blue Cross has found that when participating physicians and hospitals are freed from the constraints of payment based on individual visits, tests and procedures, they invest more in prevention, coordination of care, and innovative clinical programs that improve the health of their patients. An annual report story features one of the first physician groups to participate in the quality contract, Mount Auburn Cambridge IPA, which has extended the scope of primary care with social workers who provide one-on-one health coaching to high-risk, high-need patients.
In addition to stories that feature Blue Cross's customers and provider partners, the annual report includes an overview of 2015 business results and examples of the company's leadership and ongoing investments in corporate citizenship and diversity and inclusion. The audited financial results will be posted to the site in April.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 31,500 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts