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Business Coalition Honors BlueChoice HealthPlan for Migraine Program
Date:11/21/2007

COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) presented BlueChoice(R) HealthPlan of South Carolina an eValue8 Health Plan Innovation Award at the NBCH annual conference this month.

The award recognizes programs that address critical health care needs. BlueChoice HealthPlan won for its Great Expectations(R)* for Health Migraine program, which was started in 2002 to improve treatment and continuity of care for members with severe and recurrent headaches.

Approximately 50 health plans submitted over 100 applications for the award. BlueChoice HealthPlan was one of three companies awarded. Dr. Laura Long, BlueChoice HealthPlan chief medical officer, accepted the award. The judges were The Leapfrog Group, the Centers for Disease Control, George Washington University and the Agency for Health Research and Quality.

"We applaud these health plans for demonstrating their commitment to improving the value of purchaser health care spending," said Andrew Webber, president and CEO of NBCH. "By sharing these ground-breaking programs with other health plans and purchasers, we hope to improve community health systems across the country."

Migraine headaches affect over 29.5 million people in the United States. U.S. employers lose more than $17 billion in medical costs and lost productivity from missed workdays and employees working with migraine symptoms. "It has been rewarding knowing that this program was making a difference for our members suffering from severe migraines, and I am happy to see the success of this program recognized through this award," said Mary Mazzola Spivey, president and chief operating officer of BlueChoice HealthPlan.

Established in 2002, BlueChoice HealthPlan enrolled 949 members in its migraine program in 2006. Results showed a 79 percent reduction in emergency room visits and a 60 percent reduction in hospital admissions. Among the members, 75 percent felt the program was helpful, 62 percent said they were better able to recognize their headache triggers, and 36 percent said the program had prompted them to follow up with their physicians. Companies also achieved substantial cost savings.

NBCH (http://www.nbch.org) is a national, non-profit, membership organization of nearly 70 employer-based health care coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 34 million employees and their dependents across the United States.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina (http://www.BlueChoiceSC.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and both are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and an excellent accreditation status, the highest level awarded, from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

BlueChoice HealthPlan has more than 7,000 physicians in its statewide network and serves approximately 212,000 members statewide. It offers four group health plans and one individual plan for children.

(R)Registered mark of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

(R)*Registered mark of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.


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SOURCE BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina
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