; Collaboration Is The Secret Ingredient For A Solid Partnership
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Press Release

Collaboration Is The Secret Ingredient For A Solid Partnership

WellPoint survey shows consumers expect coordination when it comes to their vision and medical health

July 10, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS – Whether it's keeping peace at home or in Gotham City, consumers know that tough jobs require solid partnerships. So, who takes the lead position as the "all-time best partners" for most Americans? According to a recent WellPoint survey, good 'ole Mom and Dad take the top spot; however, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, as well as Batman(TM) and Robin rank pretty high too when Americans think of a dynamic duo.

While most people don't think of their doctors scaling tall buildings -- or fussing over their kids' curfew -- they do expect them to work as partners. In fact, according to the recent WellPoint survey, most consumers (76 percent) believe that doctors are collaborating about their care; in addition, 40 percent of consumers also support the idea of more coordination as a way to make their life easier. After all, who has time to remember all of the details in their medical history -- vaccinations, medications, diagnoses -- and all the rest? Forty-one percent of consumers said they had trouble remembering important medical history details -- and about one-quarter (27 percent) find it challenging to update various doctors on the details of their care.

However, while most Americans are optimistic about the collaborative efforts of their doctors, the truth is, collaboration is not the norm. According to a recently published report by The Joint Commission, communication problems were the most common root causes of unanticipated deaths or serious physical or psychological injuries to patients in 2010.(i)

WellPoint is taking steps to solve this challenge by providing clinically integrated vision and primary care (medical) benefits, which gives doctors the ability to securely access claims data so they can learn more about their patients' overall health. Other plans allow access to claims data from their portals; however, the WellPoint tool provides a summarized and organized analysis of information that can be viewed and saved to the member's medical record in the provider's office.

"Many people don't realize it, but an eye exam can reveal important clues about serious chronic conditions like high blood pressure, hypertension or diabetes -- conditions that are best managed for a patient when detected early," said John Thorp, president of WellPoint's Vision business. "We're the first insurer to use claims data to connect the two, to tell the full story of a patient's health so that the vision and primary care doctor are on the same page and can identify serious health conditions before they become worse. Our clinical coordination program is the closest thing to having all network doctors in the same room providing care simultaneously."

Additional survey results show that almost three-quarters of Americans (74 percent) think that increased collaboration among their doctors would foster better treatment, while 73 percent of Americans believe increased collaboration among doctors would provide a more comprehensive understanding of their health, and 73 percent of Americans believe increased collaboration would lead to more accurate diagnoses.

"We fully understand the value and importance of integration and making it easy for providers to collaborate with each other. As a result, our clinical coordination program provides all of our network providers with access to relevant, HIPAA-compliant patient health information so they can provide the best care to our members," said Thorp. "The collaboration that takes place through our program benefits members, providers and employers because it can help improve health outcomes, lower total health care costs and make it possible to provide our customers with more holistic care."

More information about WellPoint's Vision benefits can be found at www.wellpoint.com.

This report presents the findings of a telephone survey conducted among 1,014 adults, 509 men and 505 women 18 years of age and older, living in the continental United States. Interviewing for this ORC International CARAVAN(R) Survey was completed on June 5-8, 2014. 614 interviews were from the landline sample and 400 interviews from the cell phone sample.

The margin of error for the total sample is +/-3.0 percent at the 95% confidence level. This means that if we were to replicate the study, we would expect to get the same results within 3.0 percentage points 95 times out of 100.

Batman is a registered trademark of DC Comics.

About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint is one of the nation's leading health benefits companies. We believe that our health connects us all. So we focus on being a valued health partner and delivering quality products and services that give members access to the care they need. With nearly 67 million people served by our affiliated companies including nearly 37 million enrolled in our family of health plans, we can make a real difference to meet the needs of our diverse customers. We're an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We serve members as the Blue Cross licensee for California; and as the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri (excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New York (as the Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in 10 New York City metropolitan and surrounding counties and as the Blue Cross or Blue Cross Blue Shield licensee in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.), and Wisconsin. In most of these service areas, our plans do business as Anthem Blue Cross, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, or Empire Blue Cross (in the New York service areas). We also serve customers in other states through our Amerigroup and CareMore subsidiaries. To find out more about us, go to wellpoint.com.

(i) The Joint Commission (2014). Sentinel Event Data Root Causes by Event Type 2004 --2013.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 37 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.