Highlights from Blue KC’s 2019 Annual Report

Jenny Housley — July 14, 2020

At Blue KC, we are here. Here for the good of our community and members. Here for the companies and employees that make this region so vibrant. Here for making healthcare easier and more accessible for everyone. Earlier this month, we released our 2019 Annual Report with stories on some of the initiatives and programs we implemented in 2019 and how we’re continuously addressing the ever-evolving healthcare landscape amid recent challenges. Here are a few key takeaways:

We Are Here to Deliver Personalized Healthcare Experiences

At Blue KC, we realize each member’s health journey is unique. That’s why we developed BluePath, a personalized care management program that connects members with one-on-one support to help them navigate a complex health system, improving outcomes and delivering an optimized care experience.

To better serve the needs of our members, several new programs were developed under BluePath in 2019 – including Rare Autoimmune Disease Management, Oncology and Traumatic Brain Injury. These specialty areas led by experienced care managers are unique to Blue KC and allow us to effectively engage and provide members with a high-touch, empathetic approach to care.

We Are Here to Offer Support at Every Turn

In 2019, Blue KC expanded its services to better care for the whole person, with affordable access to behavioral healthcare. Blue KC offers our members a full range of behavioral health solutions including managed behavioral health, an employee assistance program, a student assistance program and health coaching.

In addition, we committed to combatting the opioid epidemic by aggressively addressing prevention, treatment and harm reduction related to opioid use. Through our Opioid Management Program, we have reduced total opioid prescription claims by 33.8 percent and reduced the number of members taking opioids by 36.5 percent.

We Are Here for Community Health

At Blue KC, we’re always challenging ourselves to do more to improve the quality of life here in the Kansas City region. Our Blue KC community impact initiative, Well Stocked, focuses on increasing access to nutritious food in underserved areas in Kansas City. In 2019, we partnered with Cultivate KC, a local nonprofit that provides resources and advocates in support of growing fresh, nutritious produce in urban areas. Together, we offered reduced-cost or free transportation to local farmers markets twice last summer and distributed more than 260 vouchers that could be redeemed for $5 tokens to use at the markets.

Additionally, we restructured our Transforming KC Health Research Grant to better align with efforts to address food insecurity in our community. Blue KC and BioNexus KC awarded the 2019 grant to a partnership between the Community Health Council of Wyandotte County, the University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute and Vibrant Health. The $400,000, two-year grant will be used to combat food insecurity in the Kansas City area.

We Are Here to Connect on Many Levels

Great customer service is, and has always been, a priority for Blue KC. As part of our core culture to continually innovate, we introduced our new concierge program called Blue Connect in 2019. The Blue Connect concierge program is designed to provide members a high-touch experience with additional capabilities to connect across their health journey with Blue KC. 

This program engages a dedicated team of experts who are empowered to sync up with departments throughout the company to resolve questions and issues across a variety of member needs. Blue Connect offers three levels of enhanced and high-touch engagement providing flexibility of choice for our group membership. From customized clinical support to care navigation, Blue Connect provides a spectrum of options to ensure our members access the right care, at the right time.

The dedicated aspects of the Blue Connect program also include reaching our team of experts through direct phone and email access making it much easier for members to get help quickly. During the introduction phase of Blue Connect, the feedback from members has been very positive, showcasing that this additional high-touch experience adds value for our members in receiving the care they deserve.     

We Are Here to Create a Superior Customer Experience   

Spira Care continued to answer the market need for more simple and affordable access to healthcare. With a focus on member access, member experience and support systems, we experienced tremendous growth in 2019. Membership grew 35 percent, with five new care centers opening throughout the Kansas City metro area. Member satisfaction achieved high ratings, and we saw an eight percent decrease in the total cost of care for Spira Care members who have had at least one visit to a Spira Care Center versus other Blue KC members.

We Are Here to Put More Care in Medicare

In 2019, we welcomed even more Medicare-eligible residents to Blue KC. Now, Buchanan County residents have access to our Blue Medicare Advantage Essential (PPO) plan. That means access to more doctors and hospitals nationwide, more prescription drug coverage and more supplemental benefits — all in a PPO plan with a $0 monthly premium.

We Are Here to Invest in the Community

Blue KC is proud to work with many organizations who are changing the lives of people and the landscape of our hometown. In 2019, Blue KC employees collectively donated over $203,000 to 130 local charities, and participated in various fundraising events in support of our community.  

In addition, Blue KC awarded the Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize to promote creativity and innovation in the Kansas City community and provide real-world opportunities to healthcare students. Blue KC has proudly served this community for more than 80 years and we’re here not just to help you live longer, but to help you live better. With all the challenges presented in recent months, we continue our mission to improve the health of our members and provide affordable access to healthcare, no matter the circumstances. Read our full 2019 Annual Report to learn even more about our work.