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Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma Launches an Integrated Medical-Dental Health Program
Date:4/9/2008

TULSA, Okla., April 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma 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, Blue Cross and Blue Shield 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, the Oklahoma insurer hopes to proactively reach out to these members and influence their behavior before any adverse conditions escalate further. In addition, Blue Cross and Blue Shield 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. The goal of the BlueCare Dental Connection program, which is available at no cost to members who carry Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma Web site at http://www.bcbsok.com.

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

The health insurer is launching an educational content Web page called The Dental Wellness Center at http://www.bcbsok.com/dentalWellness.html. 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," Custer said. "That's 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 e-mail within 24 hours. In addition, the Dental Cost Advisor allows Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma 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 Oklahoma is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Dental Network of America (DNoA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of 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 92,000 dentist access points nationally, ensuring high quality and affordable dental care to its members and clients.


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SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oklahoma
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