Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Recognized For Innovative Medical and Disability Management Program's Impact on Getting Employees Back to Work
Program Results Include Earlier Return to Work, Cost Savings for Employers and Minimized Loss of Wages for Employees.
Richardson, TX — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) announced today that it has developed an award-winning integrated medical and disability management program aimed at getting workers with disabling conditions healthy and back on-the-job sooner. The key to getting disabled employees well and back to work as soon as possible is the program's emphasis on vastly improved coordination between the medical benefit and disability carrier, plus proactive patient management across the spectrum of care is required from both carriers. The program has received a BlueWorks Award from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) for its success in decreasing the time injured/ill patients need to return to their jobs, thereby reducing costs and increasing employee productivity. The BlueWorks award program is a unique collaboration between the BCBSA and Harvard Medical School's Department of Health Care Policy. In fact, Harvard Medical School judges selected this program as the only winner in its category.
Because statistics show that the longer an employee remains off-the-job, the less likely they are to ever return, the program emphasizes the critical importance of getting an employee well and back to work as soon as possible. For example, after six months of disability, the worker's chance of not returning to work is about 50% and after 12 months, it's 90%. "With an aging workforce and the growing issue of disabling conditions for health care providers, BCBSTX is very pleased to have developed this innovative program aimed at members who are struggling to get well and return to their jobs," says Darren Rodgers, senior vice president, Health Care Management, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. "Offering early intervention to coordinate medical care with disability and mental health services has proven to be a tremendous benefit to everyone from the health plan to the employer and employee."
One year after start-up, the new program's results have shown a significant impact in getting employees well and back to work when possible. While most members enrolled after filing claims for short term disability, 24% entered the program before filing, allowing the program to work with the member as early in the disability process as possible. Over half the program participants returned to work earlier than expected based on national averages for their type of injury, resulting in cost savings for the employer and minimized loss of wages for the employee.
The award-winning program is part of BCBSTX's Blue Care Connection®, a collaborative care management system designed to encourage the pursuit of evidence-based prevention and intervention so that members can improve their health and avoid unnecessary medical costs. It offers coordinated referral to specialty programs such as disease management, Employee Assistance Programs and behavioral health providers to optimize care.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas — the only statewide, non-investor-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 3.8 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the country's largest non-investor-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. HCSC is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
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