DETROIT, Oct. 19, 2023 – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is adding Cancer Support through OncoHealth’s virtual platform, Iris, to its portfolio of cancer care solutions. Members with a cancer diagnosis, and their caregivers, will have immediate access to educational resources, clinical oncology expertise, mental health support and a network of peer mentors. The Cancer Support program complements and works in coordination with the treatment they’re receiving from their physicians.
The program offers several features including:
- 24/7 access to US-based oncology nurses via chat, phone or video to ask questions related to symptoms and side effects and get immediate guidance and support
- Mental health appointments with licensed therapists who specialize in working with members and families dealing with cancer
- Oncology nutrition support from registered dietitians and nutritionists
- Advice and support from peer mentors who have been in similar situations
- A digital tracker for recording goals and side effects
- Resource navigation for help addressing the financial and social barriers to treatment
- Clinically approved articles, videos, webinars (live and recorded) pertaining to specific cancer types, treatments, side effects and procedures.
“Throughout our lives, cancer is likely to impact each of us in some way, whether it be a personal diagnosis, or that of a friend, colleague or loved one,” said James Grant, M.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.“It can be extremely difficult to navigate the complex feelings and treatments associated with cancer.Blue Cross’ Cancer Support program applies a whole-person health approach to taking care of each member who is impacted in some way by cancer. Members can also find peer support or knowledgeable professionals to talk with any time through the platform. By getting information and support when and where they need it, our members and their families will experience less of a toll on their emotional and physical wellbeing.”
Cancer Support can be used by members who are survivors, newly diagnosed or in treatment. A caregiver can also use the program on behalf of the patient. Participants will receive full access to the Iris platform features at no cost.
“Cancer impacts us beyond our physical health, that’s why we created Iris, to help people navigate the mental, physical and emotional tolls of this disease and its treatment. We’ve found that Iris users often have fewer emergency visits and hospital stays as well as improved quality of life because they are well supported and have developed valuable coping skills,” said Andrew Norden, M.D., chief medical officerat OncoHealth.
The Cancer Support program will be automatically added to individual and fully insured Blue Cross PPO and HMO health plans and will be live January 1, 2024. Self-funded employers can add Cancer Support to their health plan for their employees at any time during the year with a 90-day implementation lead time.
For more information on Cancer Support and Iris by OncoHealth, visit MiBluesPerspectives.com/OncoHealth. or contact a Blue Cross representative to discuss options.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit mutual insurance company, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Blue Cross provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.7 million members residing in Michigan in addition to employees of Michigan-headquartered companies who reside outside the state. The company has been committed to delivering affordable health care products through a broad variety of plans for businesses, individuals and seniors for 80 years. For more information, visit bcbsm.com and MiBluesPerspectives.com.