Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas Launches an Integrated Medical-Dental Health Program

    RICHARDSON, Texas, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
 Texas (BCBSTX) is announcing the launch of BlueCare Dental Connection(SM),
 a new integrated medical-dental program. The program is unique in the
 industry because it compares an individual's medical and dental data to
 create a customized plan aimed to improve their health. This new approach
 is designed to specifically help users optimize their overall health by
 making better decisions about their oral health through the pursuit of
 evidence-based research and information.
 
     Research continues to show a potential link between oral care and
 overall health. Through BlueCare Dental Connection, BCBSTX can utilize
 medical and dental claim information to identify members at risk with
 health conditions complicated by dental disease, such as diabetes,
 cardiovascular disease and pregnancy. By analyzing this claim data, BCBSTX
 hopes to proactively reach out to these members and influence their
 behavior before any adverse conditions escalate further. In addition,
 BCBSTX is reaching out to select members determined to be at risk for
 dental caries or periodontal (gum) disease in an effort to minimize or
 prevent these dental conditions early on. The goal of the BlueCare Dental
 Connection program, which is available at no cost to members who carry
 BCBSTX medical and dental insurance, is to help members identify potential
 opportunities for dental health intervention and prevention and realize the
 benefits to their overall health.
 
     Targeted intervention to these at-risk members will be accomplished
 through a coordinated effort of mailings and staff outreach in addition to
 expanded web tools and information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of
 Texas web site.
 
     "We feel this program is both critical in maintaining our members'
 overall health and assisting us in reducing the ever-increasing costs of
 healthcare," states Dr. Timothy Custer, Dental Director for Dental Network
 of America, a subsidiary of Health Care Services Corporation and
 administrator of BCBSTX. "By combining online support tools with a
 coordinated outreach component, BCBSTX will be able to target members most
 in need of education and intervention".
 
     The health insurer is launching an educational content webpage called
 The Dental Wellness Center at
 http://www.bcbstx.com/employer/bc_dental_connection.htm). The site will
 host current educational articles, information on specific medical
 conditions and their relationship to oral health, along with feature rich
 tools.
 
     "Consumers have a growing need for dental information," continued Dr.
 Custer. "That is why we have added the Dental Wellness Center with features
 such as Ask-a-Dentist, which allows members to receive answers to general
 clinical questions via email within 24 hours. In addition, the Dental Cost
 Advisor allows BCBSTX members quick and easy access to average price ranges
 for any dental service targeted to any particular region in the country."
 
     Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas -- the only statewide,
 customer-owned health insurer in Texas -- is the largest provider of health
 benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400
 hospitals to serve 3.8 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and
 Blue Shield of Texas is a division of Health Care Services Corporation
 (HCSC), which also operates the Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in
 Illinois, New Mexico and Oklahoma. HCSC is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company
 and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
 
     Dental Network of America (DNoA) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Health
 Care Service Corporation (HCSC). DNoA acts as the administrator for all
 HCSC dental programs, including BlueCare Dental Connection, providing
 comprehensive administrative support. DNoA also offers services in
 proprietary network development, actuarial, underwriting, marketing and
 sales support to their clients. Dental products are administered for groups
 with as few as two employees to thousands of employees. DNoA currently
 works with over 91,000 dentist access points nationally, ensuring high
 quality and affordable dental care to its members and clients.
 
 
 

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas

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