17 Ago, 2021

BCBSRI launches new virtual care management program to better connect with members and support their health needs

Secure telehealth platform delivers convenient, personalized way for patients to connect with nurses

PROVIDENCE, RI (AUGUST 17, 2021) – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is now offering a virtual care management option to augment the company’s nurse care management program, which supports members in reaching their health and wellness goals. This new program was created to meet members where they are and offer added convenience, enhanced communication capabilities, and the reassurance of a virtual face-to-face conversation.

“Our nurses – who have primarily connected with members via telephone -  are able to use an online platform to interact with members and assess their health needs, as well as educate them to successfully manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes or other health issues, including behavioral health," said Smita Mazumdar, RN, BSN, CCM, BCBSRI director of care management. “The pandemic normalized care delivery through telemedicine and our virtual care management program leverages this sort of technology, which is a game-changer for the nurse-patient relationship."

This virtual care management program is not intended for urgent care situations and is not meant to replace primary care or specialist visits. Instead, it provides an enhanced connection where BCBSRI nurses can talk to members face-to-face virtually while the member is in their own home. Being able to see a member also gives nurses the ability to better identify any health issues that may be present but weren’t previously addressed.

Members who may benefit from care management are invited to meet with their BCBSRI nurse care manager through the virtual care management platform. Members may receive an invite for a meeting if they’ve had a recent hospital discharge and need assistance with their discharge instructions, getting their medications and other factors. Depending on the member’s individual needs, other clinicians, such as a BCBSRI dietitian, may join the meeting. A health advocate, caregiver or BCBSRI resource specialist may join as well. Resource specialists are BCBSRI team members who help with locating resources for any non-medical needs that arise, such as transportation, food security, housing or internet access.

“So far, the data has shown the program to be most impactful in assisting members with scheduling primary care appointments and supporting member needs after being discharged home. Most importantly, we found that 25% of all members who have utilized the program were educated on understanding signs and symptoms of their condition while also activating a specialist or provider for treatment, which led to 50% of those members avoiding an ER visit," said Mazumdar. “On top of all this, of all members who have rated the program, we’ve gotten a 5-star rating, for an overall 100% satisfaction rate."

BCBSRI’s virtual care management program is available to members enrolled in BCBSRI Medicare Advantage, individual and fully insured group plans. To learn more call 401-459-CARE(2273) or 1-800-637-3728 x2273 or email care@bcbsri.org. To hear more about the value of virtual care management in supporting the health of Rhode Islanders check out a recent episode of BCBSRI’s The Rhode to Health Podcast on this topic.

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