‘It Was Lifechanging for Me:’ Blue Cross Coordinated Care℠ Program

Jake Newby

| 5 min read

For years, Laura and her husband, two Port Austin, Michigan residents, tried unsuccessfully to have a baby before turning to in vitro fertilization (IVF). They were over the moon when they found out they were expecting. However, 13 weeks into Laura’s pregnancy, she suffered a scare that landed her in the emergency room.
“As a nurse, I reached out to her and I communicated with her about her pregnancy issues,” said Brittany, a Blue Cross Nurse Care Manager. “When we reach a member and we introduce our program, Blue Cross Coordinated Care, we let them know that we’re here to help with anything that they will face throughout their medical journey, it often times is a surprise to them.”
Laura said the program was a “no brainer” to enroll in. Laura was assisted with medication changes, learned about side effects, worked through appointments and treatments and found ways to treat her pregnancy concerns at home.
“It was definitely an excitement once Jamison came. He was born early, he was 32 weeks and three days,” Laura said. “Brittany did follow along our entire NICU stay. She didn’t just stop [when] our pregnancy was done, she followed us home until we were all healthy and happy.”
Coordinated Care is included with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) and Blue Care Network (BCN) health plans at no added cost. The program gives members individualized support based on their specific health needs for a wide range of conditions.

What is Blue Cross Coordinated Care?

This program uses advanced data analytics to identify members with chronic and complex conditions who would benefit from care management the most. Once identified, a nurse care manager reaches out and engages with the member throughout their care journey to help them manage their condition and make achievable lifestyle changes to improve their health. The nurse care manager also connects them with other Blue Cross care team members, condition-specific programs and community resources as necessary.
Laura’s story is similar to what unfolded for Alma, a Flint, Michigan resident who received a phone call one day from a care manager.
“Prior to Blue Cross Care Management assisting me in my journey toward health, I was very unhealthy,” Alma said. “I was actually 20 pounds heavier. I was tired, unmotivated, and wanted to lay down and sleep most of the time. I received a phone call. They told me they were from (BCBSM). And they indicated to me that, ‘I’m just here to help you out. To improve your health.’”
Shelley, Alma’s Blue Cross Nurse Care Manager, encouraged her to improve her health after learning of her struggles with depression, weight loss and diabetes. Alma received a referral to a dietician to get her diabetes in control, lower her A-1 C and lose weight. Shelley helped put Alma on a diet and exercise routine that consisted of cardio, weights and walking at least four days a week.
“Now, I’m not tired. I’m more energetic,” Alma said. “If I could say one thing about it, it was lifechanging for me.”
Program participants can conveniently stay connected with the program through the BCBSM Coordinated Care℠ app. The intuitive app helps members:
  • Become educated about their condition.
  • Stay in touch with their Blue Cross care team.
  • Make and keep appointments.
  • Stay on track with their health regimen.
  • Take medications on time.
  • Receive health tips and encouragement.

“I have so much more hope”

Ricardo’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis served as a wake-up call for the White Lake, Michigan resident. An unhealthy diet and problems with portion control caused him to gain weight, which affected his sleep, mood and overall quality of life.
Amber, a Blue Cross Nurse Care Manager, was there for Ricardo to talk through his needs, discuss his health and put him in contact with dietitians.
“With the assistance of a registered dietitian and myself he was able to start counting his carbs, he was counting his calories, and he increased his exercise – which he was not exercising at all – to 2-3 times a week,” Amber said.
Throughout his weight loss journey, Ricardo relied on the Coordinated Care app to chat with Amber about education and resources geared toward diabetes which helped him track his steps (he went from fewer than 5,000 a day to more than 10,000 a day) and log medication reminders.
“I’ve lost over 85 pounds,” Ricardo said. “My BMI has gone down considerably. My A1C was 8 and now it’s 5.5 … Before all this, I thought I was too old. I just didn’t think I had a lot of hope,” he added. “And now almost a year later, I have so much more hope to be more active and have a healthy lifestyle. I enjoy life so much more.”

For employers: Blue Cross Coordinated Care delivers proven costs savings and improved clinical outcomes

Blue Cross Coordinated Care delivers comprehensive support that meets the whole-person health care needs of our members. It offers deep member engagement with the richest benefits currently available in the market at a competitive price. Four unique care management options are available, allowing you to select the level of care that best meets your workforces' needs.
For more information on how the Blue Cross Coordinated Care portfolio is ready to help meet the unique needs of any company and deliver a simplified and personalized care experience for employees and their families, visit the Coordinated Care page on the BCBSM website or contact a Blue Cross representative to discuss options.

For providers: Referring patients to Coordinated Care

An eligible patient might be someone who has a history of multiple ER visits yet has not followed prescribed steps to improve their condition. As a provider, you can refer an eligible patient by calling the Blue Cross Engagement Center at: 1-800-775-2583. Teletypewriter (TTY) users can call 711.
Photo credit: Getty Images
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association