Transforming healthcare is a daily endeavor and progress is often made on the community level. Despite advancements in improving quality, access and affordability for all Americans, there is still much work to be done. Americans spend more per capita on healthcare than almost any other industrialized nation and yet we suffer from chronic diseases at much higher rates due to a variety of factors, including the impact of social determinants, such as our socioeconomic status or the ability to access healthy, fresh food.
Local knowledge about what communities need to get healthier
With deep local roots, Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are transforming healthcare by knocking down some of these barriers to good health, ZIP code by ZIP code. Providing health insurance is just one piece of the equation. Leveraging charitable giving and Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ local expertise is another. We’re not just talking about donations. We’re talking about strategic investments in the delivery of healthcare and the health of all Americans. Here are just a few of those investments:
- A beacon for patients leaving the hospital with little or no support
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana invests in the Beacon Project, which connects patients who are discharged from the hospital with holistic and integrated community care services. If they need food, housing, job placement or other interventions, there’s a network of more than 2,000 organizations lined up to support healing and healthy living.
- Mobilizing the community to take on the top health conditions
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona identified the top three health conditions affecting Arizonans and mobilized community partners to address them head on. The project, Mobile AZ, sends a mobile unit to every Arizona county to connect people with opioid use disorder to medication assisted treatment, taps community resources to link people with mental illness to care and resources and provides in-person screening and virtual care to help Arizonans decrease the impact of diabetes. These investments and community partnerships showcase new ways to deliver care to disenfranchised and hard to reach populations.
- Providing kids the mental healthcare they need, right at school
In Idaho and other states, accessing psychiatric care and counseling can be a challenge for children and families. There’s a shortage of providers, especially in rural areas. Waiting lists for appointments can be long. And the high cost of visits for mental health providers who may not accept insurance can put care out of reach. Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health has found a unique – and simple - way to deliver mental healthcare where kids are. The program pays private behavioral healthcare providers to set up satellite offices in schools. In these schools, attendance is up, school performance is up and more kids are being screened earlier for depression and other mental health conditions.
These strategic investments are paying off in better health across the country, a complement to the work Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies do every day to transform healthcare.
Read the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Community Investment Report and take a closer look at the work underway to support health in communities across the country.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona and Blue Cross of Idaho are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies.