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Broker Guide
April 2008 Blue Shield Spotlight


Insights & Opinions

Legislative Update
By Tom Epstein

As expected in the aftermath of the defeat of the governor's health reform plan, state legislators have unleashed a torrent of bills that regulate, mandate, and eviscerate managed care and the broader health coverage market. » more

Member Behavior Change Leads Your Reader Poll Results

Our last Shield Spotlight poll asked you to identify the biggest challenge facing health care in California in 2008 -- changing member behavior topped the poll results. » more

Product & Service Updates

Snapshot: Living with Chronic Illness: Californians' Perspectives on Cost and Coordination of Care 

April 2008 | California Healthcare Foundation

About 40% of adult Californians live with at least one chronic medical condition. Chronic conditions present a host of challenges to individuals in their daily lives, such as coping with drug interactions and side effects, making difficult lifestyle changes, seeing the doctor (usually more than one) more often, and facing frequent urgent medical care episodes. But when coupled with the reality of navigating an increasingly complex and costly health care system, these challenges become even more daunting.



Disease Management Programs that Focus on Needs of Chronically Ill Patients Can Provide Positive, Cost-Effective Results

Comprehensive patient care management techniques that include patient education, provider and care coordination and professional support can sharply reduce utilization, including hospital days and emergency room visits, and lower overall costs compared to typical care management programs.  A study of Blue Shield of California HMO members published in The American Journal of Managed Care last year quantified actual cost reductions for patients with illnesses, such as late-state cancers or degenerative neurological conditions, who participated in this type of expanded care management program.


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