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News Releases

2016 


MUSC, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina Reach Deal for Network Coverage

October 03, 2016

Medical University of South Carolina health services are now available to more BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina members as the organizations reached agreement for participation in the health plan’s individual exchange and BlueChoice® HealthPlan Medicaid networks. The organizations have a longstanding contract for commercial members.

Specifically, the newly signed contracts are for Affordable Care Act (ACA) plan offerings (healthcare.gov exchange and private exchange) BlueEssentials and Blue Option, and BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid. The terms of the contracts became effective Oct. 1, 2016.

The agreement includes all MUSC facilities and providers, thus providing access to MUSC specialty services not found in other facilities throughout the state.

“We are pleased that MUSC Health and BlueCross were able to work together on an agreement that works for both organizations, but most importantly, keeps South Carolina’s citizens connected to the health care expertise they need to live better, healthier lives,” said Patrick J. Cawley, M.D., MUSC Health chief executive officer and MUSC vice president of Health Affairs.

Scott Graves, president of the BlueCross division, said, “We are pleased to add MUSC to our provider network. Increased access and greater choice adds value for our members.” 

About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for nearly 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

About BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina
 Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an “Accredited” status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business and for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product. 
Both companies hold an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

About MUSC Health
MUSC Health is the clinical enterprise of the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) comprised of a 700-bed Medical Center, the MUSC College of Medicine and the physician’s practice plan.  It serves patients across South Carolina and beyond through four hospital facilities in Charleston and more than 100 outreach sites.  Among these are the Hollings Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated center and the only one of its kind in South Carolina, and a nationally recognized Children’s Hospital.  The Medical University was founded in 1824 and has become a premiere academic health sciences center at the forefront of the latest advances in medicine, with world-class practitioners and scientists providing groundbreaking research and technology that is often the first of its kind in the world.

CMS Announces BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan Selected for Initiative Promoting Better Cancer Care

Columbia, S.C. – As part of today’s Cancer Moonshot Summit hosted by Vice President Joe Biden, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan are among the 17 health insurance companies and nearly 200 physician group practices to participate in a care delivery model that supports and encourages higher quality, more coordinated cancer care.

The Medicare arm of the Oncology Care Model includes more than 3,200 oncologists and will cover approximately 155,000 Medicare beneficiaries nationwide. Four of those oncology practices are in South Carolina, two of which are in Greenville, one is in Charleston and one is in Rock Hill.

The names of those practices and payers participating in the Oncology Care Model, and more information about the model, can be found on the model’s website: http://innovation.cms.gov/initiatives/Oncology-Care/. The Oncology Care Model begins on July 1, 2016 and runs through June 30, 2021.

Cancer is one of the most common and devastating diseases in the United States: more than 1.6 million new cases of cancer will be diagnosed and cancer will kill an estimated 600,000 Americans in 2016. According to the National Institutes of Health, based on growth and aging of the U.S. population, medical expenditures for cancer in the year 2020 are projected to reach at least $158 billion (in 2010 dollars) – an increase of 27 percent over 2010. A significant proportion of those diagnosed are over 65 years old and Medicare beneficiaries. 

“The Oncology Care Model encourages greater collaboration, information sharing, and care coordination, so that patients get the care they need, when they need it,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “This patient-centered care model fits within the Administration’s dual missions for delivery system reform and the White House Cancer Moonshot Task Force – to improve patient access to and the quality of health care while spending dollars more wisely.”

According to Shawn Stinson, M.D., chief medical officer of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, this effort is an opportunity to strengthen partnerships between insurers and providers. “Participating in the Oncology Care Model and working closely with our oncology partners allows us to achieve shared goals of improving health outcomes, reducing rising cost trends and enhancing the member/patient experience overall. This effort supports high quality health care delivery in a smart and thoughtful way,” said Stinson. 

The Oncology Care Model encourages practices to improve care and lower costs through episode- and performance-based payments that reward high-quality patient care. The Oncology Care Model is one of the first CMS physician-led specialty care models and builds on lessons learned from other innovative programs and private-sector models. As part of this model, physician practices may receive performance-based payments for episodes of care surrounding chemotherapy administration to Medicare patients with cancer, as well as a monthly care management payment for each beneficiary. The two-sided risk track of this model would be an Advanced Alternative Payment Model under the newly proposed Quality Payment Program, which would implement provisions from the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015.

Practices participating in the five-year Oncology Care Model will provide treatment following nationally recognized clinical guidelines for beneficiaries undergoing chemotherapy, with an emphasis on person-centered care. They will provide enhanced services to beneficiaries who are in the Oncology Care Model to help them receive timely, coordinated treatment. These services may include:

  • Coordinating appointments with providers within and outside the oncology practice to ensure timely delivery of diagnostic and treatment services;
  • Providing 24/7 access to care when needed;
  • Arranging for diagnostic scans and follow up with other members of the medical team such as surgeons, radiation oncologists, and other specialists that support the beneficiary through their cancer treatment;
  • Making sure that data from scans, blood test results, and other tests are received in advance of patient appointments so that patients do not need to schedule additional visits; and
  • Providing access to additional patient resources such as emotional support groups, pain management services, and clinical trials

“CMS is thrilled with how many physician groups chose to be a part of the Oncology Care Model,” said Patrick Conway, M.D., CMS principal deputy administrator and chief medical officer. “We have nearly doubled the number of participants that we anticipated. It’s clear that oncology physicians recognize the importance of this new performance-based, episode-based payment approach to cancer care. As a practicing physician and son of a Medicare beneficiary who died from cancer, I know the importance of well-coordinated care focused on the patient’s needs.”

As part of the Administration’s “better care, smarter spending, healthier people” approach to improving health delivery, the Oncology Care Model is one of many innovative payment and care delivery models developed by the CMS Innovation Center and advanced by the Affordable Care Act. The Innovation Center is committed to transforming the Medicare, Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) programs and is expected to help deliver better care for individuals, better health for populations, and lower growth in expenditures for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP beneficiaries.

About BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an “Accredited” status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business and for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product.

About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for nearly 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.

Both companies hold an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

SC BlueCross, SC BlueChoice Members Can See a Doctor Without Going to the Doctor's Office

March 03, 2016

Columbia, SC – BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina are offering South Carolinians a convenient new option for care that complements traditional health care – Blue CareOnDemandSM.

Available 24/7 on a computer, tablet or mobile phone, Blue CareOnDemand uses video to securely connect members with a physician who will review their symptoms, ask and answer questions, make diagnoses and prescribe medications, if appropriate. The video visits are geared to handle consultations for common illnesses – such as cold and flu symptoms or pink eye — when the doctor’s office is closed or when minor acute illnesses make it difficult to leave home. 

“Convenience is important to our members. Blue CareOnDemand can expedite urgently needed care when their doctor’s office or urgent care center is closed or other factors interfere with a timely on-site visit. This is part of our support for the transformation of health care to new models that work for South Carolinians,” said BlueCross Chief Medical Officer Shawn Stinson, M.D.

BlueCross and BlueChoice® made the service available Jan. 1 to under age 65 individual policy holders and to members of fully-insured groups. It will be made available as an option for self-insured groups in April. Members of employer-sponsored health plans should verify they are eligible for Blue CareOnDemand before setting up a profile and initiating a visit.

All doctors on Blue CareOnDemand are considered in-network and licensed in the state from which the member is calling. The member will be responsible for his or her normal cost share for a primary care visit and for giving his or her primary care physician the telehealth medical notes that will be emailed by the telehealth doctor.

Members can register for the service at www.BlueCareOnDemandSC.com or search for Blue CareOnDemand in the App Store or Google Play. For an example of how a visit works, videos are available at https://youtu.be/me-YxbE206s for BlueCross members and https://youtu.be/5fSjCCPupBk for BlueChoice members.

Blue CareOnDemand is provided using telehealth technology available from American Well® (www.americanwell.com), a company headquartered in Boston. American Well is an independent organization that administers telehealth on behalf of BlueCross and BlueChoice HealthPlan.


About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia, and operating in South Carolina for nearly 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 


About BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an “Accredited” status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business and for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product. 
Both companies hold an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

Web www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com and www.BlueChoiceSC.com
Facebook www.facebook.com/BCBSSC   Twitter: www.twitter.com/BCBSSC
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/BlueCross-BlueShield-of-SC 
YouTube: www.youtube.com/BCBSofSouthCarolina  
Instagram: www.instagram.com/BCBSSCpics
 

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina Start Maternity Blue Distinction Program, Recognize South Carolina Hospitals for Delivering Quality, Affordable Maternity Care

February 10, 2016

Columbia, SC  – In an effort to help prospective parents find hospitals that deliver quality, affordable maternity care, BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® Health Plan of South Carolina announce the first hospitals in South Carolina to receive the Blue Distinction® Center and Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designations under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Nearly 4 million babies are born in the United States annually, making childbirth the most common cause of hospitalization. In 2014, the latest year for which statistics are available, South Carolina had 57,617 births, of which 10.8 percent were preterm (prior to 37 weeks gestation).

This new maternity care recognition program evaluates hospitals on several quality measures, including the percentage of newborns that fall into the category of early elective delivery, an ongoing concern in the medical community. Compared with babies born 39 weeks or later, early term infants face higher risks of infant death and respiratory ailments, such as respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia and respiratory failure, among other conditions. These babies also have a higher rate of admission to Neonatal Intensive Care Units. 

In addition, hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding, as described in the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative by Baby-Friendly USA or the Mother-Friendly Hospital program by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) through its “Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care.” The program also evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.  

Blue Distinction Centers and Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction® Specialty Care program, are hospitals recognized for delivering quality specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community. To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must meet the same quality criteria as Blue Distinction Centers while also meeting requirements for cost efficiency. 

The Blues in South Carolina have designated 14 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers and 25 as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care in South Carolina. Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies across the nation have recognized more than 280 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers and more than 650 hospitals as Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care. Hospitals recognized for these designations were assessed using a combination of publicly available quality information and cost measures derived from the companies’ medical claims.

The South Carolina hospitals designated as a “Blue Distinction Center” are: 

 

  • Charleston        Medical University of South Carolina 
  • Cheraw             McLeod Health Cheraw
  • Clinton              Laurens County Memorial Hospital
  • Dillon                McLeod Medical Center Dillon
  • Easley              Baptist Easley Hospital
  • Florence           McLeod Regional Medical Center 
  • Gaffney            Mary Black Health System
  • Georgetown      Tidelands Georgetown Memorial Hospital
  • Greenwood       Self Regional Healthcare
  • Greer               Greer Memorial Hospital 
  • Hilton Head       Hilton Head Hospital 
  • Mount Pleasant  Roper St. Francis Mount Pleasant Hospital
  • Mullins        Carolinas Hospital System - Marion 
  • Seneca        Oconee Memorial Hospital

The South Carolina hospitals designated as a “Blue Distinction Center+” are:  

  • Anderson        AnMed Health 
  • Beaufort        Beaufort Memorial Hospital
  • Camden         Kershaw Health
  • Charleston         Bon Secours St. Francis Hospital
  • Charleston         Trident Medical Center
  • Columbia        Palmetto Health Baptist
  • Columbia        Palmetto Health Richland
  • Conway         Conway Medical Center 
  • Florence        Carolinas Hospital System
  • Greenville          Greenville Memorial Hospital
  • Greenville          St. Francis Eastside
  • Hartsville        Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center
  • Lancaster        Springs Memorial Hospital
  • Loris            McLeod Loris Hospital
  • Manning        Clarendon Memorial Hospital
  • Mount Pleasant  East Cooper Medical Center
  • Murrells Inlet    Tidelands Waccamaw Community Hospital
  • Myrtle Beach    Grand Strand Medical Center
  • Newberry        Newberry County Memorial Hospital
  • Orangeburg     The Regional Medical Center 
  • Rock Hill        Piedmont Medical Center
  • Spartanburg    Mary Black Health System
  • Spartanburg    Spartanburg Medical Center
  • Sumter              Palmetto Health Tuomey
  • Walterboro        Colleton Medical Center

Since 2006, the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program has helped patients find quality providers for their specialty care needs in cardiac care, complex and rare cancers, knee and hip replacements, spine surgery and others. 

“Research shows that compared to other facilities, those designated as Blue Distinction Centers demonstrate better quality and improved outcomes for patients. On average, Blue Distinction Centers+ are also 20 percent more cost-efficient than non-Blue Distinction Center+ designated health care facilities. We congratulate these hospitals for meeting rigorous criteria, and we continue to commit to this and other quality-oriented efforts to help our members better manage their health,” said BlueCross Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Shawn Stinson, M.D. 

For more information about the program, please visit www.bcbs.com/bluedistinction.

About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia and operating in South Carolina for nearly 70 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.

About BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an “Accredited” status from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business and for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product.

Both companies hold an A+ rating from A.M. Best.

About the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide health care coverage for nearly 105 million members – one in three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit www.bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog for up-to-date information about the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

2015

SC BlueChoice Names Lloyd Kapp Medical Director

November 04, 2015

Columbia, S.C. – Lloyd M. Kapp Jr., M.D., has been named medical director for BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina.

Kapp will have substantial involvement in strategic issues, such as organizational direction, and in operational efficiency, including clinical performance, quality improvement, provider and member satisfaction and medical informatics, among others. In addition to his duties for BlueChoice®, he also serves as medical director for both BlueChoice and BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina’s federally-facilitated exchange products.

Kapp previously was associate medical director for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, which he joined in 2014. His duties included serving as lead medical director over case management for members with chronic or complex medical conditions, ensuring they received their health plan benefits and finding resources to help with their care. He also has represented the company in the South Carolina Birth Outcomes Initiative and the South Carolina Medical Association’s Childhood Obesity Taskforce. 

“Health plan medical directors are a new type of leader in this era of health care reform, with a widely expanded range of responsibilities and a greater external focus. Dr. Kapp already has great experience to continue BlueChoice’s leadership in South Carolina,” said BlueCross BlueShield Division President Jim Deyling.

He currently serves as chairman of the Lexington/Richland School District Five health advisory committee and serves on the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control’s pediatric advisory committee. He also serves on an executive committee for the South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Before joining BlueCross, Kapp was in private practice for 12 years at Palmetto Pediatric and Adolescent Clinic in Irmo. 

A board-certified pediatrician with a medical degree from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, he completed his pediatric residency at Palmetto Health Richland/USC School of Medicine. He earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of the South in Sewanee, TN.

Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina (www.BlueChoiceSC.com and www.BlueChoiceSCMedicaid.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and a “Commendable” accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business, as well as an NCQA “New Health Plan Accreditation” for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product. 

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Open Enrollment Starts Sunday; SC Blues Plans Offer Some of the Lowest Cost Plans

October 30, 2015


Columbia, S.C. – Open Enrollment for individual health insurance begins Sunday, and BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina are ready to provide access to health care coverage at highly competitive rates.

The companies’ South Carolina BLUE? retail stores will be open this Sunday, noon-5 p.m., and the mobile sales and education RVs will start their road tour around the state on the same day.

It is estimated that more than 400,000 of the state’s citizens are uninsured. BlueCross urges all South Carolinians to purchase insurance as required by the law or to do a health insurance checkup if they already have insurance. Both companies have increased the number of plans available, a number of which in the silver metal category have the lowest rates of any plan in many parts of South Carolina. BlueCross has 22 plans available, and BlueChoice® has 31 plans available. In addition, people currently receiving a subsidy to reduce monthly premiums should revalidate the subsidy amount for 2016.

“We are responding to the marketplace,” said Jim Deyling, BlueCross president. “This year, we are increasing the number of health plans available to include even more competitively priced options.”

The Affordable Care Act requires nearly everyone to have health insurance or face a significantly increased fine in 2016 that amounts to $695 per household adult and $347 per household child under 18, or 2.5 percent of household income, whichever is greater. People not already covered by a group plan or Medicaid must sign up for insurance during Open Enrollment Nov. 1-Jan. 31.

Sources for consumer information:

  • Websites www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com and www.BlueOptionSC.com.
  • Visit one of our SC BLUESM Retail Center to speak face-to-face with an agent. Locations can be found at www.scblueretailcenters.com
  • Toll-free phone lines 877-313-2583 for BlueCross and 888-213-2460 for BlueChoice.
  • Visit with an agent on one of two SC BLUE RVs that will tour the state by calling 855-382-2583.
  • Visit independent agents across the state, including some State Farm agents, as well as some Liberty Tax agents.

 

SC Blue RV Tour Stops

Aiken: Nov. 23-25 and Dec. 28-31, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Planet Fitness, 2531 Whiskey Road
Anderson: Dec. 7-12, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Doctors Care, 2126 N. Highway 81
Greenville: Dec. 13, noon-5 p.m., Dec. 16-17, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 11-16, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., SC BLUE Retail Center (Magnolia Park Mall), 1025 Woodruff Road
Hardeeville: Nov. 9-14, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Walmart, 4400 U.S. 278
Myrtle Beach: Nov. 30-Dec. 5, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 4-9, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Doctors Care, 1221 21st Ave. North
North Charleston: Nov. 1, noon-5 p.m., Nov. 2-7, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Walmart, 7400 Rivers Ave.
Rock Hill: Dec. 13, noon-5 p.m., Dec. 14-17, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 18-23, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Doctors Care, 2174 Cherry Road
Spartanburg: Nov. 16-21, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Jan. 25-31, 2016, 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Walmart, 141 Dorman Centre Drive

 

About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia,  and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health programs and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

About BlueChoice Health Plan of South Carolina
Also headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and a “Commendable” accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business, as well as an NCQA “New Health Plan Accreditation” for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product.

 

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

State Farm in South Carolina to Market BlueCross, BlueChoice Health Insurance Policies Beginning Nov. 1

August 06, 2015

Columbia, S.C. – BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina will work with local State Farm agents in a new effort to broaden consumer access to health insurance in South Carolina during the upcoming Open Enrollment under the Affordable Care Act.

Starting Nov. 1, State Farm agents in South Carolina will market BlueCross’ and BlueChoice’s® individual health insurance policies for coverage effective in 2016. 

“This alliance provides consumers with an opportunity to obtain personal assistance from State Farm agents who can explain coverage options and assist individuals in selecting plans that best meet their needs,” said BlueCross President Jim Deyling “This is the newest of many avenues we provide to consumers to make it convenient for them to understand the requirements and their options and make the decision that is best for them and their families.”

The arrangement is part of an alliance between the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and State Farm for State Farm agents in 19 states to offer health plans developed by the independent companies in those states that are licensees of the national association. It is an expansion of the number of states from a similar arrangement last year.

“This expansion of our alliance with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies to provide individual medical coverage is an important step in helping meet the health care needs of the marketplace, and we are excited about expanding our alliance,” said State Farm Senior Vice President Joe Monk. “At State Farm, we help people manage risk and realize their dreams. Marketing individual medical coverage allows our agents to help people manage this key risk, so they can live confidently in pursuing their dreams. We're excited to team up with organizations of the caliber of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in providing this important protection.”

In South Carolina, State Farm has 330 offices employing 1,500 people. 

BlueCross and BlueChoice policies also will continue to be sold by independent agents in the state, as well as through the companies’ South Carolina BLUESM retail centers in Columbia, Greenville and Mount Pleasant, their mobile sales RVs, websites and toll-free phone lines.


About State Farm
State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of car insurance in the United States. Their 18,000 agents and more than 65,000 employees serve more than 82 million policies and accounts – nearly 80 million auto, home, life, health and commercial policies, and nearly 2 million bank accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for renters, business owners, boats and motorcycles, is available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 41 on the 2015 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For information, please visit www.Statefarm.com.


About BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia,  and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.


About BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina
Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina (www.BlueChoiceSC.com and www.BlueChoiceSCMedicaid.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and a “Commendable” accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business, as well as an NCQA “New Health Plan Accreditation” for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SC BLUE Stores to Offer Free Classes in March

March 05, 2015

Columbia, S.C. –South Carolina BLUESM retail centers in Columbia, Greenville and Mount Pleasant are scheduling free classes in March, including retirement planning, health insurance basics, new member workshops, yoga, Zumba and the always popular healthy cooking.

Space for classes is limited. People can sign up at www.SCBlueRetailCenters.com/Events.aspx.

The schedule for Columbia (1260 Bower Parkway in Columbiana Station) is: 

  • Yoga, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Monday, March 9
  • Turning 65: Now What? 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, March 10
  • Zumba, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 11
  • Healthy Cooking (focus on “Dinner”) 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Thursday, March 19
  • Yoga, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Monday, March 23
  • Zumba, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Wednesday, March 25
  • New Member Workshop, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, March 31

The schedule for Greenville (1025 Woodruff Road in Magnolia Park) is: 

  • Turning 65: Now What? 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, March 10
  • Healthy Cooking (focus on “Dinner”), 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Thursday, March 19
  • New Member Workshop, 6:15 p.m.-7:15 p.m., Tuesday, March 31

The schedule for Mount Pleasant (1795 Highway 17 North in Towne Centre Place) is: 

  • Turning 65: Now What? 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday, March 10
  • New Member Workshop, 6 p.m.-7 p.m., Tuesday, March 31

The South Carolina BLUE RVs also will be on the road at the Kid’s Run and Wonderfest as a part of the Cooper River Bridge Run the weekend of March 27 in Charleston.

South Carolina BLUE stores, www.SCBLUERetailCenters.com, owned by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, sell insurance plans offered by BlueCross as well as by BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina. People may stop by the stores to register to win a $25 gift card. The stores are open 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and by appointment on Saturdays and Sundays.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 20 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 
 

How Those Affected by Cyber Attack on Anthem Can Get Identity Theft Repair & Credit Monitoring Services

February 17, 2015

Services Available to Affected Members in English, Spanish
Current and former Anthem members and members of other BlueCross BlueShield plans dating back to 2004 are being offered identity repair assistance and credit monitoring services via www.AnthemFacts.com starting at 2 p.m. ET on Friday, Feb. 13, 2015.

Affected members can start accessing these services prior to receiving a mailed notification from Anthem, which will be sent in the coming weeks. Members may access these services at any time during the 24-month coverage period.

The free identity protection services provided by Anthem include:

  • Identity Theft Repair Assistance: Should a member experience fraud, an investigator will do the work to recover financial losses, restore the member’s credit and ensure the member’s identity is returned to its proper condition. This assistance will cover any fraud that has occurred since the incident first began.
  • Credit Monitoring: At no cost, members may also enroll in credit monitoring, which alerts consumers when banks and creditors use their identities to open new credit accounts.
  • Child Identity Protection: Child-specific identity protection services will also be offered to any members with children insured through their Anthem plans.

Identity theft repair services are available to members who believe they have experienced fraud. Please visit www.AnthemFacts.com to learn how to access these services. Members may access identity theft repair services by calling 877-263-7995.

Additional protection is available through credit monitoring services. This requires a member to actively enroll because the member must provide his or her personal information and consent to have his or her credit monitored. Members can enroll at any time during the 24-month coverage period. They can learn how to sign up at www.AnthemFacts.com.

Members who do not have access to the Internet or who prefer telephone service may call 877-263-7995 for assistance.

Spanish-speaking members may access information at www.AnthemInforma.com or receive assistance in Spanish at 877-263-7995.

Phone lines will be open from 2 to 9 p.m. ET on Friday and will be open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday.

Anthem is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

BlueChoice Medicaid Funds Members to Join Girl Scouts in South Carolina

February 04, 2015

Columbia, SC — Thanks to an agreement between the two Girl Scout councils in South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan Medicaid, girls across the state will have a greater opportunity to participate in Girl Scouting.

BlueChoice® Medicaid will provide the councils the $15 membership fee and limited funding for select program materials for eligible BlueChoice Medicaid members who want to join a Girl Scout troop. 

“BlueChoice Medicaid is proud to engage in this initiative, investing in the future – our youth,” said BlueChoice HealthPlan President Scott Graves. “We encourage girls in grades K5-5th grade to take advantage of the community, friendships and skill building offered in Girl Scouting.”

States Kim Hutzell, President/CEO, Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands, “We are very appreciative of BlueChoice Medicaid’s recognition of the importance of the Girl Scout Leadership Experience in girls’ lives. Their support allows girls from deserving families to participate in activities that are proven to build girls of courage, confidence, and character. Thanks to outstanding partners like BlueChoice Medicaid, we are able to reach more girls than ever and help them realize their dreams.”

Loretta Graham, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern SC says: “It is such a pleasure to work in partnership with BlueChoice Medicaid toward this common vision to accomplish uncommon results. It is truly rewarding for all of us to know this will allow girls the opportunity to become leaders of tomorrow.”

Parents or troop leaders seeking this assistance may call their respective councils to request the BlueChoice Medicaid form by calling at 800-868-9911 for Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina or 800-849-4475 for Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountain to Midlands.


About Girl Scouts of South Carolina - Mountains to Midlands
For more than 102 years, Girl Scouting has helped girls develop positive values and become active, responsible leaders in their communities. With emphasis on personal growth and leadership development through service to others, Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place. Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands serves approximately 11,500 girls, grades K5-12, and 4,700 adults in 22 counties of central and western South Carolina, including Abbeville, Aiken, Anderson, Cherokee, Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Greenville, Greenwood, Kershaw, Lancaster, Laurens, Lexington, McCormick, Newberry, Oconee, Pickens, Richland, Saluda, Spartanburg, Sumter, and Union.


About Girl Scouts-Eastern SC
Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina (GSESC) is a chartered council of Girl Scouts of the USA, the world’s preeminent organization dedicated solely to girls – all girls – where in an accepting and nurturing environment, girls build courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. In partnership with committed adult volunteers and community partners, girls develop qualities that will serve them all their lives, like leadership, strong values, social conscience, and conviction about their own potential and self-worth. Today, GSESC serves over 8,000 girls and 4,000 adult members in 21 counties: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Chesterfield, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Florence, Georgetown, Horry, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, Orangeburg and Williamsburg. 


About BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid
BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid (www.BlueChoiceSCMedicaid.com) is a managed care plan administered by BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina. Through BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid, South Carolina Medicaid beneficiaries may select a primary care physician who oversees their health care and coordinates care with specialists. Members enjoy their normal Medicaid coverage and have access to nationally recognized BlueChoice® health and disease management programs, as well as discounts on healthy lifestyle services and products. Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (www.bcbs.com).

SC BlueChoice Medicaid Teams with Boys & Girls Clubs to Fund Youth Membership

January 26, 2015

Columbia, S.C. — Thanks to an agreement between Boys & Girls Clubs in South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan Medicaid, children from families across the state will have a greater opportunity to participate in the Boys & Girls Clubs.

BlueChoice® Medicaid will provide the clubs with the annual membership fee or registration discounts for any BlueChoice Medicaid member aged 6-18 who wants to join the following: Boys & Girls Clubs of the Grand Strand; Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry (Bluffton, Jasper, Hilton Head, Beaufort units); Boys & Girls Clubs of Southern Carolina (Allendale, Barnwell and Blackville units); Boys & Girls Clubs of York County (Fort Mill, Rock Hill and Clover units).

“BlueChoice Medicaid is proud to invest in youth. They are the future work force and leaders for our communities,” said BlueChoice HealthPlan President Scott Graves. “The Boys and Girls Clubs offer a safe haven for children to go after school to get tutoring and to build character so they become responsible and productive citizens.”

Parents of BlueChoice members may call the BlueChoice Medicaid customer care center, 866-781-5094, for more information.

BlueChoice Medicaid also is working to include other Boys & Girls Clubs in South Carolina in the program.


About BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid
BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid (www.BlueChoiceSCMedicaid.com) is a managed care plan administered by BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina. Through BlueChoice HealthPlan Medicaid, South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid beneficiaries may select a primary care physician who oversees their health care and coordinates care with specialists. Members enjoy their normal Healthy Connections Medicaid coverage and have access to nationally recognized BlueChoice® health and disease management programs, as well as discounts on healthy lifestyle services and products. Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (www.bcbs.com).

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For more than 100 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America (GreatFutures.org) has enabled young people most in need to achieve great futures as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Today, more than 4,100 Clubs serve nearly 4 million young people annually through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more at bgca.org/facebook and bgca.org/twitter.

2014

SC BlueCross Earns National Customer Service Honors

February 18, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – Service Quality Management (SQM) Group, a customer service research firm, has named BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina to receive top awards based on SQM’s annual review of North American customer call centers.

The group named Vicki Whichard, assistant vice president for customer experience, as a 2013 First Call Resolution (FCR) Leader. FCR Leaders are those at a strategic level who drive improved first call resolution through using “voice of the customer” feedback. Whichard will receive her award, one of two FCR Leader awards, at the 15th Annual Most Prestigious North American Call Center Industry Awards and Conference, April 15-16 in Washington, D.C.

The SQM also cited 17 customer service advocates in BlueCross and BlueChoice® HealthPlan call centers in Columbia, Greenville and Charleston for achieving SQM World Class Certification. This means 80 percent of their calls were resolved leaving the customer “very satisfied” with the advocate and the overall experience. 

Recognized at an internal ceremony at BlueCross in Columbia today were Alex Beeks, Pamela Cragin, Krista Dodrell, Juanita Dubard, Lisa M. Edwards, Lashun Fowler, Lisa R. Jackson, Jane R. Martin, Shirley Martin, Shiloh Melchor, Kassy Morrow, Jo Price, Monique Releford, Glennie Stoudermire, Kimberly Thomas, Maribell Williams and Latoshia Wilson. 

“Every day brings new challenges and opportunities for us in serving our members. We take a lot of pride in the SQM recognition. What makes this especially gratifying is that we were measured against some of the biggest brands in the world, such as FedEx, American Express and Marriott,” said BlueCross President Jim Deyling.

SQM rates more than 450 leading North American call centers annually. The firm has been conducting first call resolution, employee satisfaction and customer satisfaction benchmarking studies since 1996. 

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Free Workshops Explain Transition to Patient-Centered Medical Home

March 26, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – Medical practices interested in becoming patient-centered medical homes (PCMHs) can get details on the transition at a two-day workshop, the PCMH Institute. Workshops are scheduled in April and May in the Midlands, Upstate and Pee Dee.

The free events are hosted by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina. They will provide details on this new model of care, including an overview of the 2011 National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) standards. Workshops will cover strategies for achieving recognition by the NCQA along with information about the PCMH program supported by BlueCross and BlueChoice®

“It can be challenging to achieve the PCMH standards. Practices have until June 30 to purchase the current 2011 standards survey from the NCQA and they have until March 31 next year to submit their completed 2011 survey tool to the NCQA. As the primary supporter of PCMHs in South Carolina in recent years, we are offering some seasoned expertise to help them transition to this new model of care,” said Dr. Laura Long, BlueCross’ chief medical officer and vice president of clinical innovation.

The PCMH Institute is open to family, internal medicine and pediatrics practices. Sessions will be held from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on this schedule:

Upstate – April 9 and May 7, The Davenport, 230 Trade St., Greer. Registration deadline is April 4.
Pee Dee – April 25-26, Myrtle Beach Marriott Resort and Spa at Grande Dunes, 8400 Costa Verde Drive, Myrtle Beach. Registration deadline is April 18.
Midlands – May 30-31, The Inn at USC, 1619 Pendleton St., Columbia. Registration deadline is May 23.

Each attendee will receive a PCMH Recognition Toolkit. Medical practices can call 803-382-5528 to request a registration form.

The PCMH model revamps health care financing as well as delivery. A PCMH is a team-based approach led by a physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. It reinforces and rewards coordination between primary care and other practitioners to monitor patient care. It also engages patients in their own care and treatment. The goal is to achieve the Triple Aim of improved health outcomes, reduced cost and enhanced patient experience. 

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

BlueChoice Adds Hours to Accommodate Last-Minute Rush for Insurance

March 26, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – In the lead-up to the March 31 deadline for health insurance enrollment, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina have extended hours to make it easier for last-minute shoppers.

The companies’ South Carolina BLUESM stores are open this week from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. through Friday and 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Saturday, and Monday from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. People can make Sunday appointments by calling a store in advance. The store locations and phone numbers are:

  • 1260 Bower Parkway, Suite A4, Columbiana Station, Columbia (803-264-9000)
  • 1025 Woodruff Road, Suite A105, Magnolia Park, Greenville (864-286-2285)
  • 1795 North Highway 17, Towne Center Place, Mount Pleasant (843-216-7760)
  • Enrollment counselors at the BlueCross toll-free sales line in Columbia (877-313-2583) will be available 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. through Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday. Enrollment counselors at the BlueChoice® toll-free sales line in Columbia (877-793-3380) will be available 8:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. through Friday, 8:30 - 5 p.m. on Saturday and 8:30 - 11 p.m. Monday.

The South Carolina BLUE RV will be parked and taking visitors from 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at 141 Dorman Centre Drive in Spartanburg, and 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at 3812 Liberty Highway in Anderson. 

People also can shop online at www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com and www.BlueChoiceSC.com at any time. They will need to enroll in a plan by 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 31, to comply with the Affordable Care Act. They also may click on the “agent finder” link to open a list of independent agents in their area. 

Under the Affordable Care Act, if individuals fail to purchase coverage on or before March 31, they face a federal tax penalty equal to 1 percent of their 2014 household income or a minimum penalty of $95.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SC BlueChoice Offers New Group Health Plan Rewarding Employee Engagement

June 23, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – As employers seek strategies to manage rising health care costs, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is offering a new product combining incentives for employees who use Patient-Centered Medical Homes (PCMH) and wellness tools.

“Companies that want to create a culture of health and wellness in the workplace will be interested in this new plan. This employee engagement approach has been shown to decrease overall health costs and improve productivity,” said BlueChoice® President Scott Graves.

Called Engagement Plus, the plan is designed to offer the highest level of benefits when a member uses a PCMH, especially employees who have high blood pressure, heart failure or diabetes. In return for using a PCMH, the member will pay a lower copayment than if they went to a non-PCMH medical practice.

A PCMH is a model that creates a system of care around the patient's needs, as well as measures and constantly improves quality as part of a national recognition process. 

In addition, Engagement Plus includes a program managed by BlueChoice on behalf of the employer in which employees may earn points for engaging in pre-identified healthy activities. They redeem the points for gift cards and merchandise. For instance, getting an annual physical or filling out an online personal health assessment might be a designated healthy activity.

Also offered in the new plan are BlueChoice’s Great Expectations for Health programs that focus on the early detection of illness and the prevention of disease; vision; dental; an employee assistance program offering confidential counseling for life management issues affecting absenteeism; and care advocacy that helps bridge the gaps between care and benefits. 

Engagement Plus is available to companies with 100 employees or more. 

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina (www.BlueChoiceSC.com and www.BlueChoiceSCMedicaid.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and a “Commendable” accreditation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) for its commercial business, as well as an NCQA “New Health Plan Accreditation” for its Medicaid business. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults and families, and a South Carolina Medicaid product.

Supporting State Initiative, BlueCross and BlueChoice Expand Prenatal Coverage


June 04, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – Taking the next steps in a statewide effort to improve healthy birth rates, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina are enhancing prenatal benefits with payments for two additional services.

Reimbursement began in May for SBIRT – screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment – in which physicians screen pregnant patients for depression, domestic violence, and tobacco, drug or alcohol use. They also make referrals for treatment if needed. This is included as preventive care required by the Affordable Care Act.


Effective June 1, enhanced coverage began for CenteringPregnancy® visits in which 10-12 women whose babies are due at about the same time participate in group visits. They receive routine medical care, have facilitated discussions, receive support and have an opportunity for community-building. Centering visits last much longer than a typical checkup — usually two hours. In addition to paying the global maternity rate, the insurers will make an incentive payment to the medical providers for each patient who attends a session and another payment if she attends five or more sessions.

BlueCross and BlueChoice® members may receive these CenteringPregnancy services at programs approved by the Boston-based Centering Healthcare Institute. In South Carolina, these are located at Greenville Health System’s OB/GYN Center, Mountain View OB/GYN in Easley, University Specialty Clinic at USC-Columbia, MUSC’s Department of OB-GYN in Charleston, Sumter OB-GYN, AnMed Health Family Medicine Residency Program in Anderson, Carolina OB-GYN in Georgetown and Murrells Inlet, Montgomery Center for Family Medicine in Greenwood and Carolina Women’s Center in Clinton. 

“Pilot programs involving these services are showing improved birth outcomes, cost savings, and better informed and prepared parents. We expect that enhancing our traditional pregnancy coverage with these programs will result in healthier babies and mothers,” said Dr. Laura Long, MPH, chief medical officer and vice president of clinical innovation for BlueCross and for BlueChoice.

BlueChoice offers similar payments for its private health plan and Healthy Connections Medicaid members. In 2013, BlueChoice conducted a centering pilot for its Healthy Connections Medicaid members with Greenville Health System providers that involved 70 births.

“At this point, it is rare that insurance companies are providing these incentive payments for CenteringPregnancy,” said Lisa Summers, policy and advocacy director for the Centering Healthcare Institute. “BlueCross and BlueChoice in South Carolina are showing early leadership to the rest of the nation on this.”

Both companies are participating in South Carolina’s Birth Outcomes Initiative (BOI), a unique public-private sector program to decrease premature births and improve the health of the baby and mother (https://www.scdhhs.gov/organizations/boi). As part of the initiative, BlueCross, BlueChoice and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which administers Medicaid, stopped paying in 2013 for early elective deliveries — those occurring before 39 weeks gestation. 

“The overall effort has resulted in better health for mothers and babies. We commend BlueCross as well as BlueChoice for their earlier participation and for taking these next steps to add new programs into their coverage. The March of Dimes — a member of the BOI — has supported CenteringPregnancy through our grants for many years, and we are delighted to have helped expand the program to sites throughout the state,” said Mona Carter, state director of the March of Dimes South Carolina chapter. The March of Dimes is an independent organization that provides health education information on behalf of BlueChoice HealthPlan.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

Also headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is a member of the BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina group of companies and holds its own independent license from the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SC BLUE Stores Offer Free Wellness Fairs in Columbia, Greenville, Mount

September 05, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – The South Carolina BLUESM retail centers in Columbia, Greenville and Mount Pleasant have added wellness fairs to the lineup of September events. These are all free and open to the public.

The wellness fairs are drop-in events that will include free health screenings, a healthy cooking class and an on-site pharmacist to advise on medications a person is taking. There also will be diabetic eye exams and door prizes. Mobile mammogram units will be on hand at the Columbia and Greenville stores to offer information as well as provide mammograms. Anyone who wishes to have a mammogram must start pre-registration by calling the SC BLUE store (803-264-9000 in Columbia, 864-286-2285 in Greenville).

The fairs will take place from 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Event dates are Sept. 23 at the Greenville store at 1025 Woodruff Road in Magnolia Park; Sept. 24 at the Columbia store  at 1260 Bower Parkway in Columbiana Station; and Sept. 25 at the Mount Pleasant store at 1795 Highway 17 North in Towne Centre Place.

For more about free events offered monthly at all three stores, visit www.SCBlueRetailCenters.com/Events.aspx

South Carolina BLUE stores, owned by BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina, sell insurance plans offered by BlueCross as well as by BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina (www.SouthCarolinaBlues.com) is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. 

Headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina and BlueChoice HealthPlan Reach Agreement with Nason Medical Center/Ambulatory Urgent Care

August 01, 2014

Low Country Urgent Care Center Stays in the Insurers’ Network
Columbia, S.C. — BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina and BlueChoice® HealthPlan have reached an agreement  with Nason MedicalCenter/Ambulatory Urgent Care Centers that allows the Low Country-basedurgent care centers to remain in the same BlueCross and BlueChoice® networks and accessible to those members at in-network rates.

According to Jim Deyling, president of the private business division of BlueCross, the agreement is good news for members. He said, “Nason’s leadership demonstrated a good faith effort in working with us to address cost concerns.

“We have been on the record as saying that our fundamental obligation is to balance access and cost on behalf of our membership. It is always a challenge and today’s evolving health care environment makes fulfilling that obligation even more complicated. In this case, however, working together, we achieved an outcome that is in the best interest of our membership. We appreciate the willingness of Nason’s leadership to work with us, and their commitment to affordable patient care.”

Dr. Barron Nason said, “Nason Medical Center is pleased to be able to continue serving the BlueCross community of the Low Country. We have found BlueCross to be honest and fair in our discussions. Now we can get back to focusing on urgent care that is fast, friendly and affordable.”

Nason, which has five clinics located in James Island, Mount Pleasant, North Charleston and Summerville, was slated to exit the network in October. Today’s announcement cancels that action.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Also headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians.

Public, Private Entities Join to Advance New Health Care Model in South Carolina

September 15, 2014

Columbia, S.C. – Health care organizations in South Carolina today announce the formation of a public-private collaboration called the Patient-Centered Medical Home Alliance to promote the new model of primary care in the state.

Involved in the effort are BlueCross® BlueShield® of South Carolina, BlueChoice® HealthPlan, the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (www.scdhhs.gov), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (www.scdhec.gov), the South Carolina Medical Association (www.scmedical.org), the South Carolina Primary Health Care Association (www.scphca.org) and the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (www.scorh.net).

Together the entities represent millions of South Carolinians covered by Medicaid or by BlueCross and BlueChoice® private insurance. They also represent the state’s public health and disease prevention authority, the statewide professional association of doctors, a nonprofit that advocates for health care access in rural areas, and a public-private partnership serving low-income citizens via federally funded Community Health Centers (CHCs) in South Carolina.

“Each organization had been reaching out to its own constituencies to support practice transformation to the PCMH model in recent years. Under this new alliance, we will combine efforts to leverage resources, eliminate duplication and increase efficiencies in the joint promotion of PCMHs,” said Dr. Laura Long, chief medical officer for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, which instigated the collaboration.

The first jointly hosted event, open to primary care practices in South Carolina, is a Diabetes Quality Improvement Workshop. It will be Oct. 10 at EdVenture Children’s Museum, Columbia. Attendees may register by Oct. 3 by calling 803- 382-5528 to request a registration form. The featured speaker will be Dr. Laura Noonan, pediatric faculty member at Carolinas Healthcare System in Charlotte, N.C. She also is senior improvement adviser for the Charlotte Area Health Education Center, among numerous other appointments. Supported by Novo Nordisk, the event is free and includes lunch.

Representatives of the South Carolina organizations began meeting last year to identify parallel efforts promoting the establishment of PCMHs in the state. This year they agreed on a vision, mission and goals.

The vision is to improve the health and patient experience for all South Carolinians by implementing the PCMH model statewide. The mission is to provide free technical assistance to primary care practices to help with ongoing, sustainable practice transformation and practice improvement based on PCMH principles.

The goals are to help primary care practices in the formal PCMH recognition process; increase capacity for practice improvement by providing educational opportunities; work with electronic medical record vendors to advocate for no cost and enhanced PCMH modules; document and review results of practice improvement; work with academic and training programs to help equip providers to work in an ongoing practice improvement and PCMH model; develop opportunities for providers to share best practices in team based care and practice improvement; evaluate the applicability of the collaborative technical assistance model for specialty practices; and work to influence the medical education system to include patient-centeredness and patient outcomes as part of medical training.

A PCMH is a team-based approach led by a primary care physician, nurse practitioner or physician assistant. It reinforces and rewards coordination between primary care and other practitioners to monitor patient care. It engages patients in their own care and treatment and is supported financially by insurance companies.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., and operating in South Carolina for more than 65 years, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. The only South Carolina-owned and operated health insurance carrier, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina comprises more than 40 companies involved in health insurance services, U.S. DoD health program and Medicare contracts, other insurance and employee benefits services, and a philanthropic foundation that funds programs to improve health care and access to health care for South Carolinians. Also headquartered in Columbia, BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina also is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.