Healthcare Workers

Offering Financial Support for Healthcare Workers

Published April 16, 2020

Helping those who help us. For the Health of America.

On the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare systems and healthcare workers are facing more than just risks to their health. Many are also in need of financial assistance as they close offices, exceed capacity, hire more staff or seek out much needed medical equipment.

As community-based organizations, Blue Cross Blue Shield companies are providing direct financial support to healthcare workers through financing guarantees, advance payments, early quality-based bonus dollars and restructuring of contracts.

Financial solutions

  • To support healthcare professionals dealing with economic pressures, Blue Shield of California is providing up to $200 million through financing guarantees, advance payments and restructuring of contracts. The company is also removing administrative burdens by waiving certain prior authorizations and streamlining concurrent reviews to reduce documentation requirements.
  • To eliminate the time and expense healthcare workers experience to receive payments for patient’s out-of-pocket costs, Blue Shield of California is accelerating the rollout of a technology-driven billing solution that enables hospitals and physicians to receive the patient’s portion of a medical bill at time of claim adjudication.
  • Independent healthcare workers, such as private practice groups, are experiencing monetary shortfalls due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Blue Cross of Idaho has created a program that allows independent healthcare workers throughout Idaho to opt in to interest-free advance payments through June.
  • Declines in patient visits and halting of elective procedures have contributed to financial pressures for many healthcare organizations. To enable these healthcare workers to continue to care for patients, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield is providing more than $170 million in direct support by accelerating payments to qualifying primary care medical homes, pediatric practices, rural physicians and hospitals.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is taking actions to enhance their claims payment processes, speeding payments to providers to alleviate revenue and short-term cash flow challenges. These measures will enable the majority of claims to be paid within 14 days or less.
  • Healthcare workers on the front lines are at increased risk of illness, experiencing professional stress and facing financial uncertainty. To mitigate stresses from financial uncertainty, Premera Blue Cross is providing up to $100 million in advance payment of claims to medical, dental and behavioral healthcare workers facing significant financial pressures due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Advancing quality bonuses

  • To support primary care doctors facing financial issues caused by COVID-19, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield is advancing its “True Performance” bonuses for qualifying primary care practices by two months. Checks totaling $32 million are being sent to more than 1,700 primary care practices and 300 medical practices caring for members in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware.
  • To support physician organizations and practices in their efforts to treat patients with COVID-19, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is making early payments to more than 40 physician organizations, including more than 20,000 primary care and specialist physicians across Michigan—each part of the company’s Physician Group Incentive Program. They are also extending deadlines to submit claims and providing financial incentives for practices to build telehealth capabilities
  • In an effort to assist valued partners with their immediate financial concerns, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is advancing approximately $80 million in payments to healthcare workers for quality and cost standards achieved in 2019. These payments were previously scheduled to take place in the fall.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for one in three Americans.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.