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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Offers New Approach to Customer Group Wellness
Date:9/13/2007

Blues' 'Consultative Tailoring' Works Hand-in-Hand with Large Customer

Groups to Customize Wellness and Care Management Solutions for their

Workforces Consultative tailoring initially offered to customer groups with 1,000 or

more employees

DETROIT, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Fast on the heels of great market success with employer wellness products such as Healthy Blue Living(SM) and Healthy Blue Incentives(SM), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is offering a brand new approach to help Michigan's largest employers and other large customer groups customize successful wellness and care management solutions for their workforces and dependent families.

The Blues' new approach to wellness and care management - called Consultative Tailoring -combines the Blues' vast care management capabilities and customer group-specific health data with Blues consultants who initially will work directly with the largest customer groups (with 1,000 or more members) to understand their goals, health risks and highest potential areas for health improvement.

The company will work jointly with large customer groups and their health care consulting firms to provide tailored solutions uniquely customized for their needs. The Blues' wellness solutions combine health information with a focused care management, disease management and employee wellness approach designed to improve customers' bottom lines by improving employee health and thereby reducing claims costs, reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity.

"We understand that each customer group is unique. Now, more than ever, customer groups are looking for strategies to help their members remain healthy or improve their health in a cost effective manner. Consultative Tailoring does just that," said Cindy Bjorkquist, director of wellness and care management consulting for the Blues.

As part of the Consultative Tailoring approach, the Blues start with a decision analytic model that reports the prevalence of chronic disease within the customer group's population. Once the goals of the customer group are identified for wellness and care management, a tailored solution is developed and delivered using the group's population data. Additionally, the Blues offer services throughout the consulting process - including program development, cultural change ideas, incentive modeling and implementation.

Earlier this year, BCBSM announced that Bjorkquist was joining the company to work jointly with the Blues sales team on the new effort to tailor solutions for large customer groups across the state. Prior to joining the Blues, Bjorkquist was involved in the planning and launching of health improvement activities, including health risk assessments, Web-based and in- person health coaching, intervention strategies and wellness incentive structures.

BCBSM also is working in conjunction with D.W. Edington, Ph.D., director of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, to establish methods to best create, implement and measure how customized wellness solutions can help large customer groups achieve their goals of controlling medical costs and improving productivity.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is taking the initiative to respond to customer needs by adding wellness strategies and resources to its already comprehensive medical care strategies and resources. In my opinion, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan's approach is the future definition of the very best health plans - those that provide resources for the needs of the total workforce population," said Edington.

The Michigan Blues have announced several wellness initiatives over the past 12 months, including two wellness products, Blue Care Network's Healthy Blue Living and Blue Cross' Healthy Blue Incentives PPO, that are designed to reward employees who participate in wellness and care management activities.

"We are leveraging our innovative wellness products, our medical data and this new consultative tailoring approach to deliver comprehensive solutions to address our customers' concerns about health cost and employee productivity," said Kenneth Dallafior, senior vice president of group sales and corporate marketing for the Michigan Blues. "The Michigan Blues are the wellness leaders among the state's health plans, and we will continue to be into the future."

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred, Community Blue and Healthy Blue Incentives PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans, and MyBlue products in the under-age-65 individual market. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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