Our highest priority is to help control the rising cost of health care for our customers, our members, and the community. As our dedicated associates work to achieve this vision, they are just as committed to providing value to our customers, meeting the needs of our members and those who care for them, and serving the greater community. Thanks to the hard work of our talented people, our 2010 accomplishments were notable.
Making Quality Health Care Affordable
Among the most promising ways to create high quality and affordable health care is to change the way we pay for health care services to reward quality, not just quantity. Our Alternative Quality Contract (AQC) is showing promising results as a better way to pay for health care. In 2010, our provider partners operating under the AQC for a year or longer:
- Achieved improvements in the quality of patient care that were greater than any one-year change seen previously in our provider network.
- The rate of improvement of these providers on certain process measures was three times that of non-AQC physicians (process measures assess the use of tests or procedures in accordance with clinical guidelines).
- Achieved remarkably high-performance on clinical outcome measures (clinical outcome measures assess how well a provider is managing a patient with a chronic condition, such as diabetes).
- The AQC is on track to achieve its original goal, set in 2008, of reducing annual health care cost trends by one-half over the five-year life of the contract.
You can learn more about the early results of the AQC here.
We're focused on providing innovative products and services that our customers need to in order to afford high-quality health care coverage. In 2010, we continued to offer a value proposition that earned us new customers, as well as the continued business of existing accounts, for instance:
- Biogen Idec announced it would exclusively offer Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts products to its employees. Our innovative services and solutions, such as network discounts and stability, health and wellness programs, as well as new consumer tools, convinced Biogen Idec to go "all Blue."
- OneBeacon Insurance returned as an account after learning about our new technology and engagement tools, like MyBlueHealth—an online wellness resource.
- The company won an exclusive contract to offer our Student Blue health plans to 10,500 state and community college students. The combination of affordable price, comprehensive coverage, and convenience available from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, were the deciding factors.
- Our Labor Affairs sales team continued an 18-month run during which they retained 100 percent of our medical coverage accounts.
- Our Municipal business continues to serve approximately 85 percent of the state's cities and towns that rely on us for the value and peace of mind our plans offer.
- Our Medicare Advantage plans earned a 4.5 Star rating (out of a possible 5 stars) by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). We are one of only 36 plans out of more than 600 nationwide to achieve this score. Our combination of quality and service makes us the leading choice for people with Medicare in Massachusetts.
Day in and day out we're here to help our members and the providers who care for them. We do this very well and are consistently recognized for our outstanding level of service. In 2010 we:
- Were one of the highest-ranked health plans in the NCQA Health Insurance Plan Rankings (11th best plan overall).
- Responded to more than 1.7 million provider inquiries, including 1.3 million phone calls.
- Answered 1.7 million member calls with an average speed-to-answer time of 34 seconds.
- Processed 52 million claims—98 percent within 14 days.
- Were recognized as the most efficient payer of medical claims in Massachusetts (third most efficient in the country by Athenahealth).
Serving the Community
Though we are a large and complex business that competes for large national employers with Fortune 500 public companies, we are a Massachusetts-based health plan that is as committed as ever to being a leading corporate citizen in the communities where we live and work. In 2010:
- We contributed $4,489,152 to 464 community organizations.
- Our associates donated 15,766 hours in volunteer service, completing 179 service projects—the equivalent of a $579,000 contribution.
- 63 nonprofits benefited from the expertise and experience of our senior leaders who served as members of their board of directors.
- We continued the William C. Van Faasen Community Service Sabbatical Program, which allows an associate to work full-time for up to six months at an area charitable organization, while being paid by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
- Our Foundation awarded $3.5 million in grants to 104 Massachusetts organizations that are working to expand access to health care and end health care disparities.
Also in 2010, we were recognized at the Boston Business Journal Corporate Citizenship Summit as one of the Commonwealth's top charitable contributors and as "Education and Training Partner of the Year" for our ongoing work with the Fenway High School's Junior Ventures Program.