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Using High-Tech and High-Touch to Simplify Health Care

By Blue Cross NC | November 3, 2020 | 5 min read | Industry Perspectives, Transforming Healthcare

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Perhaps more than any other industry, health care represents the collision of humanity and technology—nothing is more personal than our health care. But for many, determining the best option for care is an overwhelming process. Knowing when to seek care can be just as difficult as combing through the volume of medical information offered online. This can lead to people spending more time, more money and using more services across the health care system than necessary.

At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), we are working to provide a more simplified health care experience for our members. By combining technology and human interaction, we’re helping members find the right resources for their care journeys.

High-Tech: Putting the Right Tools in the Hands of Members

As people continue to take a more active role in managing their health care, ease and access are becoming increasingly important. That’s why we offer tools that make it easier than ever for members to access information and services when and where they need them.

  • Telehealth: Even in its infancy, we recognized that telehealth had the potential to make health care more available, convenient and affordable. Our established policies enabled us to more seamlessly handle the increase in telehealth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since March, we’ve covered all telehealth visits at the same cost as face-to-face visits. This allows members to meet with a primary care doctor (and even certain specialists) on their devices 24/7, improving access to care at the same prices as an office visit – and ensuring members get the care they need in a way that makes them feel safe.
  • Find a Drug Tool: The online Find a Drug tool allows members to search for detailed prescription drug information specific to a Blue Cross NC health insurance policy. It provides price estimates for brand-name prescriptions as well as generic options at common retail pharmacies. Our members can even access extra features like price comparisons and refill quantity options.
  • Blue Connect: Our mobile app enables members to view plan benefits, claims statuses and Member ID cards on the go. It also includes access to tools like an urgent care finder, our Find a Drug tool and a doctor search tool. Members can also connect with a customer service representative through a click-to-call option and in-app messaging.

High-Touch: Making It Personal

In certain situations—particularly when making sense of a health insurance plan or when managing complex or chronic conditions—information overload can contribute to stress and confusion. That’s why we also offer several ways to connect with a real person to discuss care.

  • Care Managers: We employ more than 70 certified health care professionals including nurses, social workers, dieticians and behavioral health specialists. They proactively reach out to members living with complex and chronic health conditions to assist them with understanding their conditions and care options. They also help coordinate specialist appointments, recommend and support lifestyle changes to improve members’ health and more.
  • At centers in Raleigh, Charlotte and Boone, members can meet with a Blue Cross NC employee to help make sense of their health insurance plans and receive expert advice on how to get the most out of them. As part of our commitment to total health, each location also offers wellness services like nutrition counseling, on-site preventative care and health education. Check the hours and appointment requirements of your local center due to COVID-19.
  • Health Line Blue: This popular, round-the-clock resource provides members with advice on everything from minor illnesses to medications and side effects from licensed nurses. In a nutshell, Health Line Blue offers peace of mind that no technology alone can.

A lot has changed during the 85 years our company has served North Carolina. But ensuring that members have access to the right resources so they can make the best care decisions for themselves and their families remains a top priority. For more information on tools and resources, visit our website.

Blue Cross NC provides the Health Line Blue program for your convenience. Blue Cross NC is not liable in any way for the goods or services received through Health Line Blue. Blue Cross NC reserves the right to discontinue or change the program at any time without prior notice. Decisions regarding your care should be made with the advice of a doctor. Depending on your plan, selected programs may not be available to you at this time. Check with your benefits administrator or Blue Cross NC Customer Service to determine your eligibility. Blue Cross NC has contracted with a third-party vendor independent from Blue Cross NC to bring you Health Line Blue.

Telehealth offers virtual consults with doctors, counselors, psychiatrists or other health professionals via video, phone or mobile app. Ask your employer is this program is available through your plan.

Blue Cross NC offers several decision support tools to aid you in making decisions around your health care experience. These tools are offered for your convenience and should be used only as reference tools. You should consult your own legal counsel, tax advisor or personal physicians as applicable throughout your health care experience.