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.