A few weeks ago, I started to notice some changes in the vision in my left eye. Black specks, flashes of light; everything I read about it said I might be getting a detached retina, which is a pretty big deal. I immediately called my eye doctor, who referred me to a retina specialist. Now, I hadn’t been to a doctor’s office since January so I really didn’t know what to expect, and I was, frankly, a bit nervous about it.
As we made our way through March, April and May 2020, we saw the number of COVID-19 cases in Louisiana rising very quickly, especially before the governor issued his “stay-at-home” order on March 22.
In response to this unprecedented health crisis, health insurance companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana began to add, amend and alter their coverage to make it easier for people to get tested and treated for COVID-19. At Blue Cross, we also made changes to make it easier for people to get healthcare treatment while staying at home. Read more
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
The other day, I was lamenting the fact that I haven’t seen a disinfecting wipe container in any store in a few months. I find them VERY handy nowadays for wiping doorknobs and other frequently touched surfaces or using them at the gas station and grocery store. I was just about out of wipes when I popped open a seldom-used cabinet and found a whole new package — NEVER OPENED.
A couple of years ago, with no idea that we’d be battling COVID-19, I stashed those away. I wasn’t “planning for a rainy day;” it was just luck.
But thanks to the talented team of data scientists we have here at Blue Cross, luck isn’t our only method of being prepared and ready to respond to COVID-19. Read more