BlueCare Offers Round The Clock Access To Doctor Visits

Imagine being able to get in to see the doctor any time of the day or night, without having to take time away from work or school – or even leaving your home. Imagine no more--Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has made this a reality with BlueCare, a new service that lets customers have online doctor visits.

“Our mission is to improve the health and lives of Louisianians, and that includes making it as easy as possible for them to get care when they need it,” said Paul Murphree, MD, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana interim chief medical officer. “With BlueCare, our customers have 24/7 access to doctor visits. This is an easier, cheaper way to get care for routine needs than going to an ER or urgent care.”

BlueCare is a benefit for most customers, who can have online doctor visits with a computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, or any device with internet and a camera. BlueCare will cost customers $39 per visit. Depending on their plan type and benefits, Blue Cross may mail them a refund once the claim for their BlueCare visit has processed. But, customers will never pay more than $39 total for using BlueCare.

To sign up for BlueCare, customers can go to www.BlueCareLA.com, or download the BlueCare (one word) app from Apple Store, or Google Play for iOS and Android devices. They will need to create a log-in ID and password, which they will use for any BlueCare visits.

Once on BlueCare, customers will enter basic information about their symptoms, and why they need to see a doctor. Customers will see which doctors are available for online visits, and choose the one they want to see.  BlueCare meets state and federal healthcare services and privacy laws, and it is as legitimate as an in-person visit. Customers can choose to share the record from their BlueCare visits with their regular doctors.

Online visits are effective for treating non-emergency, minor illnesses like colds, allergies, bladder infections, sinus trouble, mild stomach bugs, or rashes. Doctors can send a prescription for most medications over BlueCare. Customers can also use BlueCare to check in with a doctor if they need follow-up care. 

 “In our digital world, more of our customers have been asking us to offer online visits,” Murphree said. “We realize that today, our customers bank, shop, and handle most other business online. BlueCare is a safe, easy way for them to handle their healthcare needs online, as well.” 

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United Health Foundation Releases 2017 Senior Report

In their 2017 America's Health Rankings, United Health Foundation finds Louisiana ranked 47th overall in the Senior Ranking category. Other rankings from the Senior Report:

  • Nursing Home Quality - 49th
  • Home Health Care - 8th
  • Obesity - 49th
  • Pain Management - 1st
  • Physical Inactivity - 46th
  • Smoking - 45th
  • Poverty - 50th
  • Community Support - 30th

Click here to see the full report.

Louisiana Healthcare Providers Boost Patient Outcomes, Save Costs with Quality Blue

BATON ROUGE, La. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana’s Quality Blue programs continue driving better health results while reining in costs.

Data from the second year of Blue Cross’ Quality Blue Value Partnerships program, in which healthcare providers can earn financial incentives if they successfully improve their patients’ health outcomes and cut spending, shows enrolled providers saved an average of 2.8% of their total healthcare costs during the past year, with the most successful savings reaching 6.25%.

The data also shows that Blue Cross customers who are seeing Quality Blue doctors had overall fewer hospital stays and ER visits, and they were more likely to have recommended preventive care like colorectal cancer screenings or mammograms, than customers seeing other doctors.

“Our Quality Blue programs have gotten great results in a fairly short period of time,” said Dr. Paul Murphree, Blue Cross interim chief medical officer. “Through the strong partnerships we are building with healthcare providers around the state, we have a real opportunity to improve Louisiana’s historically poor health outcomes and hold the line on costs.”

The Quality Blue providers are having regular talks with Blue Cross clinical staff about how to get their mutual customers – Blue Cross members who are their patients – to top-quality, cost-effective care, Murphree added. For example, doctors will ask how much the same test costs at different facilities before referring a patient. “We have a team that helps identify opportunities for both quality and cost, and I believe it is one of the best in the country,” Murphree said.

The seven Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) enrolled in the program from 2015-2016 were: Baton Rouge Clinic, Baton Rouge General Physicians Group, Gulf South Quality Network, Health Leaders Network, Ochsner Health Network, The Family Doctors and Willis Knighton Physician Network.

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