Subtitle Support continues for community initiatives to solve social determinants of health and combat the opioid epidemic CHICAGO –The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) today released “The Health of America Community Investment Report,” illustrating community investments made by its 36 licensees and their foundations in 2017. The report highlights Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies’ continued support, growth and investment in building programs, forming partnerships and developing innovative technologies that have a proven impact on health outcomes and health of Americans. Underscoring the companies’ deep commitment to helping Americans live healthier lives, BCBS programs focus on driving positive health outcomes and addressing the most pressing issues affecting the country today, including community health disparities, the opioid epidemic and quality and accessibility of health care. By leveraging data insights, BCBSA and its companies are making informed decisions and developing solutions tailored for the communities in which they serve in both rural and urban geographies. “As the health insurer to one in three Americans, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are leading the way to improving the health of all Americans,” said Scott Serota, president and CEO of BCBSA. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies understand that the best way to positively impact health outcomes is to stand with and serve our local communities and collaborate on solutions with partners across the country.” In 2017, $284 million was invested in community health initiatives, and BCBS employees volunteered more than 540,000 hours and provided more than $17 million dollars in personal donations – a $6 million increase over 2016 employee contributions. The tenth annual Health of America Community Investment Report showcases community investments by BCBS companies in four key areas: Addressing Social Determinants of Health BCBS companies and foundations support community programs that address social determinants of health – including access to employment, education, reliable transportation, nutritious food and places for physical activity – that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life outcomes. A key initiative is the Blue Cross Blue Shield InstituteSM, which combines a social mission with business innovation and insight to address the “ZIP code effect” by targeting barriers to health care that can be solved with technology and strategic alliances. The first pilot programs are in partnership with BCBS companies, Lyft®, CVS Health® and Walgreens® to address transportation and pharmacy deserts in cities across the country. Enabling Healthier Living BCBS companies and foundations empower individuals and communities by providing tools to prevent and manage disease, including: obesity, behavioral/mental health, diabetes, heart health and cancer, among others. The report also highlights how BCBS companies are addressing the opioid epidemic in three critical ways: Ensuring patients with opioid use disorder receive the best evidence-based, patient-focused care available Promoting awareness and prevention through community engagement and partnerships with community organizations Fostering research partnerships with academic and professional institutions that are working to identify better ways to care for people with opioid use disorder and stem the crisis Improving Health Care Quality and Affordability BCBS companies and foundations are dedicated to providing all Americans with high-quality and affordable health care by funding research and educational resources. The report highlights local investments in 2017 that supported programs leading the transformation toward a health care system that is more accessible, accountable and affordable for all Americans. Improving Health Care Access The report shows how BCBS companies and foundations develop strong local partnerships to ensure more Americans receive the care they need. From grant-based programs and partnerships with local community clinics to scholarships to help minority students pursue a career in the medical field, BCBS companies and their foundations help deliver health care to under- or uninsured patients in their communities. To learn more about how BCBS companies are improving the health and wellness of members and their communities, view the report at www.bcbs.com/investingincommunities.