For Immediate Release
June 9, 2010
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Childhood Obesity Leadership Part of Nationwide Pediatric Partnership Launch
· National program to build on BCBSNC pilot, materials
· The Good Health Club Physician Toolkit SM Newest Blue Cross and Blue Shield Effort to Curb the Rise in Diabetes
· BCBSNC will give new tools to physicians statewide to fight childhood obesity, diabetes
· Briefing webcast from National Press Building, Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) today announced the national launch of the Good Health Club Physician ToolkitSM to combat childhood obesity and diabetes. The toolkit, first developed and piloted in five states including North Carolina, will be made available to pediatricians throughout North Carolina and communities around the country.
The physician toolkit was built on materials successfully used by BCBSNC and developed in consultation with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The toolkit is available in both English and Spanish and containstip sheets, wall posters, physician reference materials, tracking sheets,and brochures with educational information.
The Good Health Club Physician Toolkit features messages from the “Good Health Club,” a group of animal characters that encourages children to:
· Eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day
· Limit screen time to 2 hours or less per day
· Get at least 1 hour of physical activity per day
· Limit sweetened drinks to 0
Dr. Don Bradley, senior vice president and chief medical officer at BCBSNC, said at the news conference, “It’s worth every effort to open doors for discussion between doctor, parent and child – to make a difference in the lives of our children, to help them learn the practice of healthier eating habits, good nutrition, and getting more exercise. We’re pleased that our early concepts with our own toolkit contributed tothe Good Health Club Physician Toolkit. The toolkit distributed nationally will take the fight against childhood obesity to a new level by providing pediatricians with essential tools to encourage lifelong healthy living habits for America’s youth.”
Dr. Edie Bernosky, Chapel Hill pediatrician, provided her views on the importance of these tools in counseling patients, “As a practicing pediatrician in North Carolina, I have seen the value of using the toolkits provided by Blue Cross. I find it helpful in opening conversations on the difficult subject of childhood obesity and diabetes. Quality tools like this are extremely helpful to physicians and families in encouraging healthy lifestyles.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the last two decades type 2 diabetes (formerly known as adult-onset diabetes) has been reported among U.S. children and adolescents with increasing frequency. One in three U.S. children born in 2000 could develop diabetes during their lifetime and the prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 more than doubled in the past 20 years, going from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 17 percent in 2006.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina has pioneered a wide variety of programs in our community focusing on healthy lifestyles dating back to 1999. Healthy Lifestyle Choices, a lifestyle modification program, provided customers with tools and support to achieve and maintain healthy weight. In 2005, BCBSNC became one of the first insurers to classify obesity as a medical condition and cover nutritionist visits. Since 2007, the company developed model toolkits to help families exercise regularly and take charge of managing their overall health and well-being.
A just-released compendium – Commitment to the Next Generation of Healthy Americans – details how Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and other Blue companies are leveraging local partnerships to build, design and support programs that target obesity and diabetes prevention.
To view the Good Health Club Physician Toolkit and for more information about what the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies are doing in their communities to combat childhood obesity and diabetes, please visit www.bcbs.com/
Tag Archive for 'Blue Cross/Blue Shield'
The new insurance bill will allow people who don’t have insurance coverage to get health insurance. The bill was approved by a panel of North Carolina lawmakers, but consumer supporters believe that the bill is “anti-consumer”. The tension is really escalating concerning the health reform in North Carolina.
The bill will make it so that individuals and small businesses with limited funds, will be able to get affordable insurance.
Democrat Verla Insko says the re-write of the bill performed by the House Health Committee doesn’t do much to help the uninsured. She said, “the bill, as written, is really written for the benefit of the industry and not for the benefit of the people who will be using it.” She drafted an alternative bill that has numerous compromises worked out by a task force that the state convened. She also says that her bill will not get a hearing, claiming that Republicans want to run their own bill with a substantial input from the insurance industry that helped draft it. According to them, insurers have a voting seat on the governing board of the benefits exchange. Consumer advocates, as well as the North Carolina Insurance Commissioner, proclaim that that is a conflict of interest, because insurers will also be competing for business in the exchange.
This said, Lew Borman of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina doesn’t agree. He said, “whoever is appointed by whatever authority would have to fall under the ethics guidelines that had been passed a couple years ago. And again we believe that insurers add important expertise to the discussion.”
A non-voting seat on the board has been recommended for insurers by the Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin. However, insurers, doctors, hospitals and the business community currently have most of the votes on the exchange board.
While consumer advocates suggest that the bill doesn’t do much to guarantee that the coverage that is offered in the marketplace will really be affordable, Borman, of Blue Cross Blue Shield, says that that is not the point of the legislation. He said, “it meets the federal guidelines and mandates to put together a web-based marketplace. The exchange doesn’t manage costs. This really advertises those costs and those plans across the board from Blue Cross and other insurers.”
Consumer groups are asking that the governing board of the marketplace be able to put a limit on premiums and demand uniform benefit plans so it will be easier for people to be able to comparison shop. The current bill that was approved by the House Health Committee does not do these things. The new measure will be considered by the House Insurance Committee.
On Monday, October 11, 2010, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina announced its very first iPhone application. This new application helps customers compare drug costs, locate urgent care centers and reach customer service. Officials from the company announced that the free app is attainable for customers to download who have an iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad.
According to John Roos, who is a senior vice president, this app could save a family from paying too much or waiting too long, by directing them to the right urgent care center for their needs. The app will also help people look fro cheaper alternatives after comparing drug costs. It offers a one click access to get a Blue Cross customer service representative. In addition, the app can store your notes about personal and family health.
John Roos noted that Blue Cross is also contemplating more abilities for its app in the near future. Editions for Blackberry and Android phones are currently being augmented.
Blue Cross is North Carolina’s largest health insurer, consisting of more than 3.7 million members.
Blue Cross/Blue Shield has announced that it will pay 70 percent of the fee that it permits for non-emergency surgery by out-of-network doctors. This will put the patients responsible for 30 percent of the charges, plus any difference between the allowed amount and the actual charge.
This alteration of the fee structure is in reaction to distressed Congress members as well as some upset federal workers who have the Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard option.
According to the company’s initial fee structure for 2009, 100 percent of the surgery fee, to a maximum of $7,500 per surgeon, per surgical day, would have had to be taken care of by Blue Cross/Blue Shield members. Under the office of Personnel Management, health insurance companies were allowed to change their surgical benefit and permit employees to change their insurance selections through the end of January.
In situations where the surgeon’s bill will be $5,000 or more, Blue Cross is currently offering members a better service system that will give members information ahead of time that will show them what the company will pay when concerning a procedure.