Technology Leading the Future of Health Care

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

AI hands screen
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we’re constantly looking for ways to improve health care for our members and providers. With members and providers at the center of everything we do, we strive to look ahead and develop new technologies they need and want. This approach also allows Blue Cross to provide better care, improve outcomes and make health care coverage more affordable for all.

Unlocking What’s Next

“We're always looking for ways to take advantage of new capabilities, new vendors, new technologies.” - Rich Boehm, vice president of informatics, operations and provider systems
Boehm and his team work with innovative technologies Blue Cross IT has been implementing, while also exploring new opportunities. One of those technologies is artificial intelligence. By gathering various pieces of past health-related information and creating predictions based on historical data, we are able to aim at bettering the health outcomes of our members while reducing costs.
“With access to the right data, artificial intelligence, and, moreover, machine learning, we can utilize what we learned to actually predict different health events.”- Paul Horalek, senior director of enterprise technology strategy and services
As more data becomes available to us, it is easier to predict different health outcomes and create more reliable models. Working with AI allows us to create more accurate predictions and insights that are meaningful and impactful to each member. Investing in core AI capabilities also allows Blue Cross IT to:
  • Go beyond traditional automation efforts and automate processes that require some level of decision-making that AI can now handle.
  • Create new ways of servicing consumers through digital channels by providing conversational interfaces that interact directly with consumers and answer their queries.
  • Create better insights to support decision-making.
  • Provide the ability to create more real-time interactions with members, providers, consumers and agents.
  • Reduce the cost and effort associated with third-party solution integration (e.g. vendors that provide market-facing services, provider electronic medical record systems, etc.).
  • Enable the business to quickly assemble needed systems to provide market-facing solutions.

Building for the Future

“We're aging and people are moving around, so it's critically important that we always have state-of-the-art services to provide to our members.” - Laura Marble, vice president of application services & IT strategic partnerships
Marble has been focusing on our legacy assets and modernization efforts at BCBSM so that Blue Cross is prepared for the future with modern applications, infrastructure and IT network that will meet internal and external needs well into the future. During the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, our IT infrastructure allowed us to quickly adjust our benefits and give members access to important reliable resources they could count on in a time of uncertainty. Not only were members able to use their phones and facetime for health visits, but they were also able to get care for their mental health as well using these resources. “Prior to the pandemic, Blue Cross was dedicated to providing digital tools, such as telemedicine, advocacy, etc., to allow members to access and utilize their benefits,” said Horalek. “Since the pandemic, we've accelerated those efforts to better serve our members remotely.”

More Ways Blue Cross IT Is Going Further:

  • Securing patient data when and where you need it
  • Breaking down barriers to connected health
  • Creating a path to connect patients to their own health information
  • Interoperability: Accessing your patient data with security and ease
  • When data follows the patient, care gets better and costs go down
  • Investing in new technology (APIs and microservices) to build out an advanced integrations hub that enables interoperability
As a leader in the future of health care, Blue Cross IT is committed to transforming the tech landscape for our members and providers. Collecting data and providing new, innovative ways for members to navigate health care not only changes the user experience but opens many other doors when it comes to receiving care. Related:
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MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association