Weekly Feature

2018-01-03 / Business

BlueCross BlueShield encourages residents to think carefully before surgery

It’s estimated that 48 million people undergo surgery each year in the United States and preparation plays a significant role in their overall experience and recovery process.

The decision to have surgery is a significant one, especially as more and more individuals enroll in health insurance plans that include high deductibles and potentially greater out-of-pocket costs.

With more than one in four members now enrolled in a high deductible health plan, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has launched the region’s first program designed to help members deciding on, preparing for, and recovering from surgeries.

“When considering a surgical procedure, shared decision making and open communication with your doctor is an important step to ensure you receive the care that’s right for you,” said Jennifer Johengen Vogel, senior director of health management, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. “This leading tool will help our members ask the right questions and feel more comfortable throughout the surgery process.”

BlueCross BlueShield partnered with Welvie, an innovative surgery decision support company, to provide eligible Commercial and Medicare Advantage members a no-cost, online program.

Based on their personal state of health, members have the opportunity to learn what treatment options are available, what questions they should be asking their doctor, what they can expect once a surgical procedure has been confirmed and what they can do to ensure a speedy recovery.

Since BlueCross BlueShield launched the program in November 2017, more than 6,000 BlueCross BlueShield members are already using the leading online tool to make informed decisions.

“Even if surgery isn’t in your immediate future, we encourage members to take a look, so they will be prepared if they are faced with making a surgery-related decision in the future,” added Vogel.

BlueCross BlueShield’s eligible Commercial and Medicare Advantage members can visit www.welvie.com to get started. For questions or assistance enrolling in the free program, members can contact Welvie Customer Service by calling toll-free 1-877- 386-6556, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., CST or e-mailing customer service@welvie.com.

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