Company aims to accelerate health care affordability across five states with initial efforts focused on whole-person health and addressing systemic gaps
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) today announced initial areas of investment which will be deployed by its five Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas as part of its Affordability CuresSM endeavor. Announced in March, Affordability CuresSM is HCSC’s $1.5 billion commitment over three years to accelerate new and existing efforts to reduce health care costs for its members.
“To help people be at their best, we need to bring together the ways we serve the whole person,” said Paula Steiner, president and CEO, HCSC.
Over the next 18 months, HCSC is rolling out the availability of new programs for nearly 8 million members, primarily through employer solutions. Integrated, tailored services will help members improve their health, control costs and empower them to be active participants in their well-being. This whole-person approach to care management and wellness includes proactive clinical and multi-disciplinary team outreach, as well as digital engagement models that provide dedicated guidance and support.
“Even with new programs like these, a number of things can help, or get in the way of, people being at their best. Fragmentation in the health care system and gaps in quality care or resource availability are two examples where the entire health care system can do better,” said Steiner.
For its part, HCSC will make initial additional investments focused across Affordability Cures’ five target areas where innovation, integration and investments can affect meaningful change for its members and communities. Priority areas include:
- Bringing together behavioral and physical health coordination and outreach solutions to better address high-need areas including addiction and substance abuse. This includes better connections to on-site wellness services and behavioral health resources such as virtual visits, improving analytics and reporting and providing new consumer navigation tools.
- Building capacity and better connecting members to resources including housing, transportation and healthy food. HCSC is partnering with local community organizations and others to scale long-term solutions. These efforts will build on the momentum from HCSC’s second annual Health Equity Summit earlier this month, which brought together industry and community thought leaders to explore barriers and opportunities in addressing the social determinants of health.
- Accelerating adoption of ways to improve exchange of health information across a broad array of care providers and community resources to create a more complete picture of individuals' health.
“We need to do our part to bridge the gaps in the system – and we will. But we cannot do this alone," said Opella Ernest, M.D., chief clinical officer, HCSC. “We are reaching out across the health care industry and in our communities to work together on solutions that eliminate fragmentation in how people stay well and access resources and care. Through these efforts, we will identify opportunities that address the unique needs of our members and communities and tackle them through meaningful action.”
These efforts will build on HCSC's existing community initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life in its communities. For this commitment, HCSC was recently named among the Points of Light Civic 50, recognizing the most community-minded companies in the nation each year as determined by an annual survey.
Programs and initiatives will be detailed in the coming weeks by HCSC and its Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas. HCSC’s Center for Collaborative Studies, which conducts research with leading academic institutions, medical societies, providers and community-based organizations, will evaluate and measure the long-term impact of the investments to improve affordability.
About Health Care Service Corporation
Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) is the largest customer-owned health insurance company in the United States. HCSC offers a wide variety of health and life insurance products and related services through its operating divisions and subsidiaries, including Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Montana, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas and Dearborn National. The company employs more than 23,000 people and serves more than 16 million members. For more information, please visit HCSC.com, visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter.