Nurse Advice Line Offers New Online Symptom Advisor

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Becomes the Only Insurer in MN to

Offer this Service



Aug 19, 2005, 01:00 ET from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota

    EAGAN, Minn., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Have you ever wondered whether you
 should go the doctor's office or stay at home to treat an ailment or symptom
 when you are feeling ill? Now you don't even have to pick up the phone to
 receive medical advice. Instead, if you are a member of Blue Cross and Blue
 Shield of Minnesota, you can simply log on to http://bluecrossmn.com to access
 the new online symptom advisor and evaluate your condition. The online symptom
 advisor provides help in making good decisions about the best time and place
 to get care.
     Minnesota's largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has
 launched a first in the state by exclusively providing its members with 24-
 hour access to an online symptom advisor.
     The online symptom advisor is a user-friendly Web tool that provides care
 recommendations for pediatric and adult injuries, illnesses and mental health
 concerns, using demographic information and symptoms described by the member.
     In response to market research showing many Blue Cross members use the
 Internet for health concerns information, this consumer-driven product allows
 members to take control of their symptoms and treatment. After logging into
 the self-service section of the bluecrossmn.com home page with a private
 password, members answer a series of yes/no questions that are written at the
 6th to 8th grade reading level. No typing is necessary when describing
 symptoms and body locations. Answers trigger an algorithmic pattern to assess
 the member's symptoms. The program then directs members to the most
 appropriate care option, ranging from self-care instructions to calling 911
 for emergency assistance.
     The online symptom advisor is a service provided by McKesson Corporation,
 a Fortune 15 healthcare services and information technology company. Blue
 Cross has offered members the use of McKesson's telephonic nurse advice line
 for ten years.
     Among the nurse advice line users who reported that they believed a visit
 to the emergency room was necessary, 82 percent were advised to a lower level
 of care after using the nurse advice line's programs. Last year, Blue Cross
 experienced a 2:1 return on investment with the nurse advice line and expects
 an additional increase with the use of the online symptom advisor.
 
     Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul
 suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and
 continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more
 economical and timely availability of health services for the people of
 Minnesota. A not-for-profit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the
 largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.6 million members in
 Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its
 affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an
 independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,
 headquartered in Chicago.
 
 

SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
    EAGAN, Minn., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Have you ever wondered whether you
 should go the doctor's office or stay at home to treat an ailment or symptom
 when you are feeling ill? Now you don't even have to pick up the phone to
 receive medical advice. Instead, if you are a member of Blue Cross and Blue
 Shield of Minnesota, you can simply log on to http://bluecrossmn.com to access
 the new online symptom advisor and evaluate your condition. The online symptom
 advisor provides help in making good decisions about the best time and place
 to get care.
     Minnesota's largest health insurer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, has
 launched a first in the state by exclusively providing its members with 24-
 hour access to an online symptom advisor.
     The online symptom advisor is a user-friendly Web tool that provides care
 recommendations for pediatric and adult injuries, illnesses and mental health
 concerns, using demographic information and symptoms described by the member.
     In response to market research showing many Blue Cross members use the
 Internet for health concerns information, this consumer-driven product allows
 members to take control of their symptoms and treatment. After logging into
 the self-service section of the bluecrossmn.com home page with a private
 password, members answer a series of yes/no questions that are written at the
 6th to 8th grade reading level. No typing is necessary when describing
 symptoms and body locations. Answers trigger an algorithmic pattern to assess
 the member's symptoms. The program then directs members to the most
 appropriate care option, ranging from self-care instructions to calling 911
 for emergency assistance.
     The online symptom advisor is a service provided by McKesson Corporation,
 a Fortune 15 healthcare services and information technology company. Blue
 Cross has offered members the use of McKesson's telephonic nurse advice line
 for ten years.
     Among the nurse advice line users who reported that they believed a visit
 to the emergency room was necessary, 82 percent were advised to a lower level
 of care after using the nurse advice line's programs. Last year, Blue Cross
 experienced a 2:1 return on investment with the nurse advice line and expects
 an additional increase with the use of the online symptom advisor.
 
     Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul
 suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and
 continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more
 economical and timely availability of health services for the people of
 Minnesota. A not-for-profit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the
 largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.6 million members in
 Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its
 affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an
 independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association,
 headquartered in Chicago.
 
 SOURCE  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota