When the first COVID-19 cases started appearing in the U.S., we had some very scary examples of what happened in other countries, with this disease overwhelming and even shutting down healthcare systems. Almost all of the original restrictions that state, local and federal officials put in place here, like stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing, business closures, etc. were aimed at slowing down the spread of the virus so we wouldn’t run out of ICU beds and ventilators. We had seen that happen in places like Italy, and it was very, very bad. Nothing you’d want to have happen here. Read more
Louisiana is opening back up. In this podcast, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Healthcare Economist Mike Bertaut talks about the adjustments we are all making and why we can’t let our guard down. Mike also discusses the strong safety net Louisiana currently has for residents who lose their jobs and their health insurance during this pandemic.
Mike talks about the remarkable number of telehealth claims Blue Cross is processing right now, and goes into details about about Blue Cross’ data-sharing partnership with the State of Louisiana, including details on a presentation that Blue Cross’s Chief Analytics & Data Officer, Somesh Nigam, led this week, during the federal Department of Health and Human Services’ Data Science CoLab Demo Day.
Since I live with people who are at high risk for a bad outcome if they contract COVID-19, I have appointed myself “Chief Forager” for the household. If we need something, I’m the one who’s out there trying to find it. This covers grocery shopping, fuel buying, medicine gathering and a host of other tasks.
Thinking about how NOT to bring COVID-19 back home when I’ve been out in public has been quite the adventure. I’ve got a pair of “outside shoes” that get worn everywhere outside my house, which I take off in the garage as soon as I get home. I’ve got a couple of sets of clothes that also go only from the outside world to my home laundry room and then back on if I need to run errands. Read more
Welcome to our first podcast in the age of COVID-19. In this podcast, Mike and his producer, Lindsey, talk about what has changed at Blue Cross (about 90% of our employees are working from home), along with how we’ve adjusted programs and services for our members. And, he talks about what hasn’t changed — our commitment to continue serving our customers.
Mike explains why it’s vital to continue seeking treatment for regular health concerns. Emergencies like heart attacks and appendicitis don’t stop in the face of a public health crisis, but more Americans are delaying care for them, at a great risk. Mike discusses how telehealth can help you figure out if and when you need to head to the hospital. Read more
As the COVID-19 outbreak and our responses continue to evolve, it is very important to us at Blue Cross that you know the resources we have available to help you make it through this crisis.
We are continuously updating our COVID-19 webpage, and posting important information on additions or changes to Blue Cross services, programs or benefits to help our members during this crisis. We also include links to the agencies in charge, like the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Louisiana Department of Health. Please check www.bcbsla.com/covid19 out often to see the newest news from us.
The changes we’ve all faced in the past few weeks have been really stressful. It’s important to me that we keep you all on top of what we are doing at Blue Cross to make sure the healthcare system, now so vital to our continued good health outcomes here in Louisiana, is strong and has the resources it needs.
Even before COVID-19, Blue Cross was paying for around $300 million a month in healthcare services for our members here in Louisiana. And with the current emergency around COVID-19, we could do even more. Here’s a few things that we have implemented to make it easier to protect your health. Read more