Our responsibility to make health care better

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas president/CEO Matt All was invited to write a guest column in the Wichita Business Journal‘s November issue on health care. In his submission below, he explains the responsibility BCBSKS has to make health care better.

Earlier this year, I was given the opportunity to serve as the eighth president and CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. For me, it was the honor of a lifetime, because as a fifth-generation Kansan, I know how much Blue Cross has meant to the people of Kansas for more than 75 years.

We were built by the businesses, families and communities of Kansas, and we’ve never forgotten that. We feel a special responsibility to treat you like you’re our neighbors, friends, and family — because that’s what you are. When we put an ID card in your hand, when we pay your claims accurately and on time, when we pick up the phone and answer your questions, we know we’re serving the people of Kansas when they need us most. As a mutual, not-for-profit company, we put people ahead of profits. And that’s why more Kansans choose us than any other company.

But we also know this: it’s still not good enough. For too many Kansans, health care is still too confusing and too expensive. There are a lot reasons for that, and it didn’t happen overnight. But we believe we have a responsibility to make it better, and we won’t rest until it is.

The good news is, we’re already hard at work. We’re changing the way we pay for health care, giving health care providers across the state a financial stake in providing quality care with better outcomes. We think these value-based programs, which include both patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations, are already making a difference, and that our members will see savings and get better care as a result.

We’re investing in data analytics and data security. The nearly 20 million claims we process each year gives us a treasure-trove of data that we can use to better understand what is driving health care costs and where to best focus our efforts to improve the health of Kansans and control costs for business owners and our members. And at the same time, we’re investing in world-class data security to ensure that your family’s information never ends up in the wrong hands.

And we’re investing directly in the health of our communities. Through our Pathways to a Healthy Kansas program, we’re working with coalitions in communities across the state to enable healthy eating and physical activity. Because of this work, there are more opportunities for people in these communities to get moving, stop tobacco use and eat healthier foods. We believe these partnerships will create lasting change, and will help Kansans live better, healthier lives.

This work is just the beginning. In the years to come, you’ll see new products for seniors, new programs to encourage providers to give better care at a lower cost, and better solutions for families, so they can focus less on the complications of the health care system and more on their health. We will not rest until every Kansan has access to health care that they can afford, understand, and use. Because when that happens, we will have truly lived up to our core purpose: providing peace of mind and access to a better quality of life.

Matt All, BCBSKS president and CEO

14 thoughts on “Our responsibility to make health care better

  1. We are small business owners and our insurance just increased to over $2,100 per month. And yet there is NO policy that will allow access to our doctors in Johnson and Wyandotte Counties. How is that even legal to call yourselves Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas, and not allow access to doctors in Kansas? This year, I have been forced to change doctors, and it has been a complete waste of time and money. This change has jeopardized my health in ways that are not recoverable.

  2. The monthly cost of the drug Repatha is outrageous. My LDL is quite high and the only way I’ve found to lower it a lot is this medication. But the cost is more than I can afford, and I do not qualify for assistance programs. I am curious to see if this drug will be more affordable in 2019.

  3. As part of Medicare BC/BS Plan 65 Select, consider adding vision care to package. Vision care practitioners heavily promote annual checkups but are also very proud of their services. Almost any pair of prescription glasses have been run up to $500 or more. How many of us on social security can afford $100+ for the checkup and $500+ for glasses AND pay all the premiums?

  4. my concern as well as everyone else is the continued rising cost of insurance, every year my premiums go up at least two hundreds dollars, i don”t know if i will be able to pay for insurance, very worrisome !!!!

  5. It is very frustrating that I can not purchase any policy, at any price, from BCBS that will permit me to see an ENT specialist who has provided wonderful care for the past 24 yrs! The issue is that this wonderful physician practices in Johnson county. I could see him until the past 2 yrs without any insurance denial. This issue is forcing me to no longer be your customer—-after over 25-30 yrs of loyalty. This is unbelievable! My husband & I have been in a very successful business for over 41 yrs—-we would have never treated any customer in this manner!

  6. I always wish bcbs would subsidize preventive health…like my fitness club..if you think it would be cost effective ….or just lower premiums so I can afford both gym and insurance

  7. I pay $1000 a month for KSBCBS for the right to spend $5000 deductible to even access my insurance. That is $15000 out of pocket before I can use it. Health care not accessible to middle class.

  8. If a 63 year old couple make over the limit for a subsidy, the cost of simple bronze with a $6500 deductible each is $1686 per month. Can you work on that?

  9. Healthy lifestyle would also include exercise. Any chance BCBSKS will cover Silver Sneakers membership any time in the future?

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