Empire BlueCross BlueShield Introduces 'Productivity Solutions'

Thursday, August 5, 2010 General News
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New program through Empire Affiliate, Anthem Life & Disability Insurance Company, that integrates health care programs with short-term disability programs for employer groups with 51 or more employees

NEW YORK, Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Empire BlueCross BlueShield, through its affiliate, Anthem Life & Disability Insurance

Company, is pleased to introduce Productivity Solutions– an innovative program that integrates health care programs with short-term disability programs for employer groups with 51 or more employees. Productivity Solutions leverages all of the integration points across health, absence and disability management programs to help improve employee health and productivity, as well as the organization's bottom-line. It is specifically designed to help group purchasers reduce disability and absence costs, increase employee engagement in condition care programs and improve overall outcomes and experiences for both employees and employers.

"Productivity Solutions is a new way of managing short-term disability claims for our customers with Empire health benefit plans. This unique program provides an integrated approach to health, disability and absence management," said Mark Wagar, President and CEO, Empire BlueCross BlueShield. "It provides employees with the right mix of proactive services that help them get back to health, back to work and back to life."

"For example, when an employee covered by an Empire health plan files a short-term disability claim, they will be paired with a health coach who is also a registered nurse," said Nicholas Brecker, president of Anthem Life & Disability Insurance Company. "The health coach becomes the primary contact for the employee and acts as the employee's health advocate. They coordinate the employee's clinical care, as well as the recovery and return to work plan across all of our health and short-term disability programs. The health coach also follows up with the employee after they return to work to ensure a successful return and to help minimize repeat claims. This coordinated care helps us proactively identify issues that could keep employees out of work, and it lets us work with them to resolve these issues as early as possible. All of this helps to distinguish our model from others in the marketplace."

This new approach offers real advantages over traditional disability programs. Results from a recent pilot study* suggest Productivity Solutions is changing the way health care and disability benefit programs are delivered. The results reported thus far have been positive:

  • One-third of claims were received before the first day absent and an additional 40 percent before the end of the first week of absence. With most traditional disability plans, employees do not report a claim until they have been out of work at least one week. Productivity Solutions allows us to work with more than 70 percent of claimants to identify issues impacting return to work and provide solutions before most plans even know a claim exists.  
  • Claim turnaround time was 21 percent faster due to early identification and engagement of health coaches as compared to traditional disability plans.
  • Nearly one-third of claims were closed early due to a quicker return to work, which reduced average disability by one week.
  • Disability claim costs were reduced by 9 percent.

"Productivity Solutions is a great example of how we provide our members with more than a disability check," added Wagar. "By placing as much emphasis on providing services that help our members get back to living a healthy and productive life, such as paying a disability benefit, we are able to help generate more positive outcomes."

More information about Productivity Solutions can be found in the Integrated Health and Productivity Management whitepaper. Go to www.Empire.com/specialty/co  and select the "Integrated Health, Absence & Disability Management Report" link.

*Sources: The Integrated Health, Absence and Disability Management Report 2010, Empire Pilot Study 2009

Empire BlueCross BlueShield

Empire BlueCross BlueShield (Empire) is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc., and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HMO is the trade name of Empire HealthChoice HMO, Inc., independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, serving residents and businesses in the 28 eastern and southeastern counties of New York State.  Additional information about Empire is available at www.empireblue.com.

About Empire Life & Disability Insurance Company

Life and Disability products are underwritten by Empire Life & Disability Insurance Company, an affiliate of Empire HealthChoice Assurance, Inc. Independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  ® EMPIRE is a registered trademark of Empire Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE Empire BlueCross BlueShield

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