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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Launches an Integrated Medical-Dental Health Program
Date:2/4/2008

RICHARDSON, Texas, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) is announcing the launch of BlueCare Dental Connection(SM), a new integrated medical-dental program. The program is unique in the industry because it compares an individual's medical and dental data to create a customized plan aimed to improve their health. This new approach is designed to specifically help users optimize their overall health by making better decisions about their oral health through the pursuit of evidence-based research and information.

Research continues to show a potential link between oral care and overall health. Through BlueCare Dental Connection, BCBSTX can utilize medical and dental claim information to identify members at risk with health conditions complicated by dental disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and pregnancy. By analyzing this claim data, BCBSTX hopes to proactively reach out to these members and influence their behavior before any adverse conditions escalate further. In addition, BCBSTX is reaching out to select members determined to be at risk for dental caries or periodontal (gum) disease in an effort to minimize or prevent these dental conditions early on. The goal of the BlueCare Dental Connection program, which is available at no cost to members who carry BCBSTX medical and dental insurance, is to help members identify potential opportunities for dental health intervention and prevention and realize the benefits to their overall health.

Targeted intervention to these at-risk members will be accomplished through a coordinated effort of mailings and staff outreach in addition to expanded web tools and information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas web site.

"We feel this program is both critical in maintaining our members' overall health and assisting us in reducing the ever-increasing costs of healthcare," states Dr. Timothy Custer, Dental Director for Dental Network of America, a subsidiary of Health Care Services Corporation and administrator of BCBSTX. "By combining online support tools with a coordinated outreach component, BCBSTX will be able to target members most in need of education and intervention".

The health insurer is launching an educational content webpage called The Dental Wellness Center at http://www.bcbstx.com/employer/bc_dental_connection.htm). The site will host current educational articles, information on specific medical conditions and their relationship to oral health, along with feature rich tools.

"Consumers have a growing need for dental information," continued Dr. Custer. "That is why we have added the Dental Wellness Center with features such as Ask-a-Dentist, which allows members to receive answers to general clinical questions via email within 24 hours. In addition, the Dental Cost Advisor allows BCBSTX members quick and easy access to average price ranges for any dental service targeted to any particular region in the country."

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas -- the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas -- is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 3.8 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a division of Health Care Services Corporation (HCSC), which also operates the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico and Oklahoma. HCSC is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Dental Network of America (DNoA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC). DNoA acts as the administrator for all HCSC dental programs, including BlueCare Dental Connection, providing comprehensive administrative support. DNoA also offers services in proprietary network development, actuarial, underwriting, marketing and sales support to their clients. Dental products are administered for groups with as few as two employees to thousands of employees. DNoA currently works with over 91,000 dentist access points nationally, ensuring high quality and affordable dental care to its members and clients.


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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
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