July 7, 2011 - Columbia, S.C. - BlueChoice® HealthPlan of South Carolina's disease management program for members with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) will be featured in an annual publication that showcases a handful of health plan programs that exemplify quality.
The company's Great Expectations® COPD program was chosen as part of this year's edition of "Quality Profiles: The Leadership Series," which is sponsored by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and Pfizer Inc. Great Expectations COPD also received national recognition last fall, when it was one of only four health plan programs selected for presentation during NCQA's HEDIS Best Practices national conference in Washington, D.C.
COPD is a serious lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. It is also known as emphysema or chronic bronchitis. COPD causes long-term disability and is the fourth leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institutes of Health.
"Our Great Expectations program enhances the excellent care members receive from our network of physicians, hospitals and other health care providers," said Dr. Lena Bretous, BlueChoice HealthPlan's medical director of health and disease management programs. "The COPD program has helped improve health outcomes for our members and cost savings for employers over the past few years. Surveyed members continue to report high program satisfaction."
From 2008 to 2010, BlueChoice HealthPlan respiratory therapists provided information and spoke by telephone with more than 1,000 members diagnosed with COPD. Emergency room visits for those members dropped 10 percent compared to the previous three years, and hospital admissions were down 26 percent.
BlueChoice HealthPlan has Great Expectations programs for COPD, alcohol management, asthma, back care, childhood obesity, children's health, chronic kidney disease, depression, diabetes, heart disease, heart failure, high blood pressure and cholesterol management, maternity, men's health, migraine, pre-diabetes, smoking cessation, weight loss and women's health. Members, at no extra cost, are automatically enrolled upon diagnosis. Members receive information, telephone counseling, and reminders about physician appointments and taking medications correctly to help them achieve optimal health and lower their risk of complications.
About BlueChoice HealthPlan
Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., 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 an "Excellent" accreditation status, the highest level awarded, from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. BlueChoice HealthPlan offers four categories of group health plans, as well as individual plans for adults, and a South Carolina Medicaid product.