WASHINGTON – The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program® (FEP®), are empowering members to make healthier choices with a new program that targets heart health. The initiative, the FEP Coronary Artery Disease Management Program, assists the Department of Health and Human Service’s Million Hearts™ initiative – which seeks to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017 – by providing free electronic blood pressure monitors for enrolled FEP members.
Cardiovascular disease – including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure – is the leading cause of death in the United States, responsible for one out of every three deaths a year. Effective blood pressure control requires regular blood pressure measurement in order to establish an individualized treatment and make necessary adjustments. Home blood pressure monitoring can assist patients and their doctors in determining the effectiveness of a treatment regimen.
The FEP’s blood pressure assistance focuses on members who are likely to suffer from heart problems and provides them with free electronic blood pressure monitors. FEP also encourages coordinated care and ongoing management of their cardiovascular conditions with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Other FEP programs that support heart health include tobacco cessation incentives, available free of charge, and nutrition counseling to help members with weight control and living healthy lifestyles.
FEP members can also utilize innovative online tools like the Blue Health Assessment (BHA) and online health coaching on FEPBlue.org. BHA allows members to set goals and generate personalized health action plans and recommendations to support lifestyle changes. By taking an initial health assessment through this tool, members earn $50 on a health debit card to help defray their out-of-pocket healthcare costs. In addition, by successfully completing up to three personalized lifestyle goals with an online coach, members can earn another $35 on a health debit card.
“For more than 50 years, FEP has been committed to serving the healthcare needs of federal workers, retirees, and their families,” said William A. Breskin, vice president, government programs for BCBSA. “We are always looking for ways to help members live healthier lives and are pleased to give members access to tools, like blood pressure monitors.”
“Million Hearts is pleased to work together with the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) towards the goal of preventing a million heart attacks and strokes by 2017,” said Janet Wright, MD, executive director of Million Hearts. “We are encouraged by BCBSA’s efforts to promote healthier lifestyles for Americans and applaud FEP for providing its members with tools such as blood pressure monitors and other important preventive services that can lead to improved cardiovascular health and save lives.”
For more information about Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, visit www.BCBS.com.
About Million Hearts™
Million Hearts™ is a national initiative to prevent 1 million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. Million Hearts™ brings together communities, health systems, nonprofit organizations, federal agencies, and private-sector partners from across the country to fight heart disease and stroke. For more information on the initiative, visit www.millionhearts.hhs.gov.
About the Federal Employee Program
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Federal Employee Program administers the Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, which has been part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program since its inception in 1960. The Service Benefit Plan covers more than 5.3 million federal employees, retirees and their families. For more than 50 years, FEP has kept premiums affordable while providing comprehensive benefits and state-of-the-art programs to its members. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association works with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to administer the Service Benefit Plan on behalf of the 37 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about the Service Benefit Plan, please visit www.fepblue.org.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association