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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Launches Integrated Medical-Dental Health Program
Date:2/7/2008

CHICAGO, Feb. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) today announced the launch of BlueCare Dental Connection(SM), a new integrated medical-dental program. This unique program compares individuals' medical and dental data to create customized plans designed to improve their health. This approach is designed to help users optimize their overall health by helping them make better decisions about their oral health based on evidence-based research and information.

Research continues to show a potential link between oral care and overall health. Through BlueCare Dental Connection, BCBSIL can utilize medical and dental claim information to identify and reach out to members at risk for health conditions complicated by dental disease, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and pregnancy. In addition, BCBSIL can reach 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 additional cost to members who carry BCBSIL 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 online tools and information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Web site.

"This program is both critical to maintaining our members' overall health and assisting us in reducing increasing health care costs," said Dr. Timothy Custer, dental director for Dental Network of America (DNoA). "By combining online support tools with a coordinated outreach component, BCBSIL can target members most in need of education and intervention."

BCBSIL is launching an educational content Web page called "The Dental Wellness Center" at http://www.bcbsil.com/employer/newsupdate/bc_dental_connection.htm. The site will host current educational articles, as well as 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 of their submission. In addition, 'Dental Cost Advisor' allows BCBSIL members convenient access to average price ranges for dental services, based on location."

With more than seven million members, BCBSIL, a division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a mutual legal reserve company, is the largest health insurance company in Illinois. BCBSIL is committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and its communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. HCSC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

DNoA is a separate company and wholly-owned subsidiary of HCSC. DNoA acts as the administrator for all BCBSIL 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 Illinois
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