Posted by Elizabeth Casey
The terms “ethics” and “ethical practices” are powerful phrases in the world of business, and in the world of medicine. When those two worlds intersect in the business of medicine, the world in which Blue Cross Blue Shield companies represent and serve our members, those phrases carry even greater weight and responsibility. And being recognized for exemplifying them is even more meaningful.
This spring, three Blue Cross Blue Shield companies were honored by the Ethisphere Institute with the designation of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Blue Shield of California, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield were named to the prestigious list, which annually recognizes companies “that truly go beyond making statements about doing business ‘ethically’ and translate those words into action.”
What does that all really mean? Ethics is a branch of philosophy related to moral principles and rules of behavior that govern what is right and what is wrong. Within the realm of a business, that means applying a moral system in everyday practices and standards. These honorees were recognized for “promoting ethical business standards and practices internally, as well as exceeding legal compliance minimums and shaping future industry standards by introducing best practices today.”
Ethics in business is about more than just doing the right thing. It’s about an overall code of conduct that governs the values of an organization and its employees’ adherence to them. It’s about everything from avoiding conflicts of interest and not accepting gifts from third parties, to proper accounting and record keeping. In the health insurance industry, it’s also about safeguarding the private health information of our members, which is closely protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
Blue Cross Blue Shield employees receive training on the Code of Business Conduct, ethics and HIPAA privacy standards, and use those as a guide in daily business practices and decision making. We’re proud to see the practical application of those ideals be recognized with these prestigious awards.
To learn more about Ethisphere, the World's Most Ethical ranking methodology and the full list of the 2014 World's Most Ethical Companies, visit http://ethisphere.com/worlds-most-ethical/wme-honorees/.