Personalized Healthcare

We Are Here For You.With Award Winning Customer Service.

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At Blue KC, we have long recognized the importance of superior customer experience and finding personalized solutions to improve the quality of healthcare while working to keep healthcare costs as low as possible for our members.

Our employees are committed to ensuring excellent customer service at all levels throughout the organization. This commitment ensures we remain focused on making our members’ healthcare journeys easy in an environment that can be complex. In 2020, our team was recognized in multiple ways for the work happening every day to deliver on that commitment.

J.D. Power Award

Every year, the J.D. Power Award measures customer satisfaction with commercial health plans in 21 geographic regions across the United States. In 2020, Blue KC was among the highest-ranking health plans.

Blue KC ranked number one in Overall Customer Satisfaction among health plans in the Heartland, according to its J.D. Power 2020 U.S. Commercial Member Health Plan Study. Our members awarded us a score 14 points higher than the regional average for key factors such as coverage and benefits. The results were based on a study measuring member satisfaction, examining six factors: billing and payment, cost, coverage and benefits, customer services, information and communication, and provider choice.

"We have our members to thank for recognizing Blue KC with this ranking particularly during this turbulent time in healthcare," Erin Stucky, Blue KC President and Chief Executive Officer said. "Every individual on the Blue KC team is committed to delivering on our mission to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health of our members. This award is a testament to their efforts to keep our members at the center of healthcare."

Service Quality Management Group Recognitions

Blue KC’s call center and customer service representatives were also honored by the Service Quality Management (SQM) Group, a leading North American customer experience research, consulting, and performance award firm.

In recognition of our commitment to customer service, our commercial call center received SQM Group’s World Class First Call Resolution (FCR) Certification for 2020. Based on voice-of-the-customer survey results, the World Class FCR Certification is awarded to contact centers nationwide on the basis of 80 percent or more of customers having their issues resolved on the first call for at least three consecutive months.

Blue KC was additionally recognized with the following awards from SQM:

  • First Call Resolution Improvement Award: Increasing first call resolution rating for our Federal Employee Program (FEP).
  • Highest Employee Experience by Industry Award (Healthcare): Having the highest employee ratings for overall experience working at the contact center of any other competitors within the healthcare industry.
  • World Class Employee Experience Award: Having a majority of employees rate their overall experience of working in the contact center at the ‘very satisfied’ level. Call center eSat (employee satisfaction) performance for Blue KC ranked at 75 percent compared to the average call center at 44 percent, and 80 percent of the Blue KC call center staff would recommend Blue KC to others as a good place to work compared to the average call center at 53 percent.
  • Best Practice Award for Quality Assurance Program: Maintaining or improving first call resolution and customer experience performance as a result of our Guide to Mentoring Program best practices. The Guide to Mentoring Program is a standardized coaching approach created by Blue KC allowing the Quality Assurance team to provide consistent feedback using a standardized process to coach new hires and anyone needing a little extra boost, while also allowing for customization based on the individual needs of the employee.

“Superior customer service is one of the things that sets us apart from our competitors,” said Ron Rowe, Blue KC Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “I’m very proud of the entire team for going above and beyond to meet the needs and surpass the expectations of our members.”

North American Customer Centricity Awards

At the 2020 North American Customer Centricity Awards, Blue KC’s dedication to customer experience was recognized with first place awards in two categories, “Best Customer Experience Strategy” and “Customer Centric Culture”. The event, run by ARCET Global, focuses on sustainable customer centric business practices through training and customer experience programs.

Blue KC is dedicated to helping members navigate the entire healthcare journey, making a simple customer experience top priority for every department. The combination of culture, measurement, customer understanding, and improvement guides Blue KC’s customer-centric strategy with a focus on simplicity to build loyalty and trust in Blue KC as a health partner.

“Customer experience is a proven business strategy,” said Jenny Housley, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Blue KC. “Companies that put customer experience at the forefront have consistently higher loyalty than companies that prioritize internal goals. This requires buy-in at every level and in every department. We have that at Blue KC.”

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Responsive Solutions

Although already planning to roll out enhanced behavioral health support for our members in 2020, Blue KC expedited the launch of Mindful by Blue KC in response to the unique challenges of the pandemic.

Mindful by Blue KC: An Innovative Program Addressing Behavioral Health Needs

Before the pandemic, 11 percent of Americans reported symptoms of anxiety and/or depressive disorders. In less than a year, the number had climbed to 41 percent. Young adults, 18-24 years old, were hit even harder with 56 percent reporting anxiety, depression, sleep disruptions or suicidal thoughts.1

The scale of the issue, and the urgency of the moment, called for a broad, more holistic approach to behavioral health to help members cope with depression, substance use, loneliness, loss, financial insecurities, remote work, as well as unprecedented school and childcare disruptions.

Shortly after the start of the pandemic Blue KC enhanced services provided in member health plans and introduced Mindful by Blue KC, a new initiative dedicated to making much-needed behavioral health services more accessible and affordable for members while addressing the stigma that too often keeps people from getting the help they need.

For our members, Mindful comes to life as a set of tools and resources to address stress, depression, substance use and more. Mindful Advocates match members to providers and guide care plans, serving as a single point of contact for:

As part of our commitment to behavioral health, Blue KC partnered with Emmy award-winning sports broadcaster Joel Goldberg to bring awareness to the behavioral health challenges affecting our community on his podcast, Rounding the Bases. Kristin Gernon, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), a behavioral health training and development specialist at Blue KC, joined Joel and other guests including teenagers, educators, parents, frontline workers and first responders from local organizations to normalize the conversation around behavioral health and encourage Kansas Citians to seek help for themselves and loved ones in need.

Mindful also expands options for employer groups. From classes on mindfulness to Mental Health First Aid, core trainings were developed and designed to fulfill a need at a time when anxiety, stress and depression were increasing dramatically for employees.

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Expanding Value-based Care to Improve Health

In early 2020, Blue KC announced a partnership designed to enhance analytic capabilities to advance value-based care initiatives and improve access to affordable, quality care for members. This integration with Cedar Gate Technologies is part of ongoing collaboration with physicians and providers across the metro to move toward value-based care and away from fee-for-service payments. This approach ultimately shifts focus away from volume and rewards quality and improved health outcomes for members. It also supports Blue KC's efforts to better engage patients with wellness programs, transparency tools, and information on how to remain healthy and manage chronic conditions.

"As Kansas City's largest locally based health insurance provider, we are purposefully pursuing value-based care models that lower the cost of care and improve patient outcomes and satisfaction," said Greg Sweat M.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Blue KC. "In 2020, we worked to enhance our analytic capabilities and find solutions to complement our risk management expertise, so we can deliver value-based care for our members and provider organizations."

Woman behind check-in counter with a computer helps a customer at Spira Care

Spira Care: Expanding Access to Integrated Primary Care

At the beginning of 2018, Blue KC introduced health insurance plans with exclusive access to Spira Care Centers to the Kansas City market. Spira Care Centers combine primary care, behavioral health consultations and health coaching to help members better understand and manage their health. The experience is simple and includes services like digital x-rays and lab services on-site. For care needs that cannot be addressed at Spira Care Centers like specialty care, therapy, or emergency services, Care Guides work with members to find providers in their plan’s network.

Spira Care is driven by its commitment to the quadruple aim, an overarching principle intended to drive improvements in four key areas: member experience, population health, care team well-being and costs. After three years, we are seeing the intended results. The health of Blue KC members who have access to Spira Care is improving, and healthcare spending is lower. In addition, we are improving member healthcare experiences and empowering our providers with the tools and time they need for quality care.

With eight locations and continued growth planned, Spira Care continues to transform how care is delivered in the Kansas City community by integrating primary care and coverage to improve outcomes and lower the total cost of care. The results speak for themselves with members who received care in a Spira Care Center showing a 6 percent lower total cost of care compared to a control group of members who have access to the same BlueSelect Plus network of providers. We also saw a 72 percent increase in primary care provider (PCP) visits, 15 percent increase in preventive services, and a 13 percent decrease in pharmacy spend for the same group.

More Choices

Offering ACA Plans to Increase Options

The social and economic impact of COVID-19 increased the need for affordable, accessible healthcare in our region. Before the pandemic, more than 1 in 10 Kansas City area residents were uninsured. As of June 2020, around 88,000 area residents were unemployed which increased the number of uninsured dramatically. This made Blue KC’s decision to enter the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual marketplace even that much more important.

Blue KC worked to create a portfolio of affordable products and convenient services that enhanced options for those seeking coverage through the Marketplace, including many Spira Care plans. In the larger Kansas City area, residents in our 32-county coverage area were eligible for our ACA plans which included options designed specifically for residents in the 5-county Kansas City metro and the 27 rural Missouri counties where we provide insurance.

All of our individual ACA plans gave members access to virtual care, Mindful by Blue KC, award-winning customer experience and more. More than 8,000 individuals chose Blue KC for their coverage beginning in January of 2021.

Enhancing our MA Plans

In the United States, the number of people who are eligible for Medicare increases by 10,000 every day and these numbers are expected to continue to grow through 2030. In response to the diversity of this growing demographic and their needs, Blue KC continued to expand our portfolio of Medicare Advantage (MA) plans in 2020.2

The Social Determinants of Health (SDoH), or conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and plan, affect health outcomes for all populations and continue to increase for the Medicare-eligible population. Recognizing the important role SDoH plays in the overall health of our MA members, we partnered with Papa Inc, a leading technology-enabled platform, that provides companionship and assistance for older adults and families for issues surrounding social isolation, meal and nutritional support and other care.

Papa, through its Pals program, connects students, stay-at-home parents, and young professionals with seniors and removes some of the burden and stress on family caregivers by providing a level of assistance and companionship for older adults. The program bridges the gap between two generations and offers seniors a unique at-home experience that can enrich their lives and help reduce feelings of loneliness.

1 The Implications of COVID-19 for Mental Health and Substance Use, Nirmita Panchal & 2021
2 By 2030, All Baby Boomers Will Be Age 65 or Older, United States Census Bureau

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