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Health Plan Profile: Florida Blue

About Florida Blue

Florida Blue has approximately 4 million health care members and serves 15.5 million people in 16 states through its affiliated companies. Florida Blue is a not-for-profit, policyholder-owned, tax-paying mutual company. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Fla., it is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. Helping people in their pursuit of health reflects Florida Blue’s commitment to ensuring affordable plans, providing personal support for health and wellness, and building strong communities that enable health and wellness for all.

Preventing Diabetes and Improving Health

Florida Blue has partnered with the Diabetes Prevention and Control Alliance (DPCA) Health Plans Services to initially launch the National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) for its employees in its corporate headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. In 2011, the health plan did an assessment of its employee population and found out that more than 3,000 of the participating employees ranged from high risk to borderline for diabetes based on the assessment. As a result of these findings, Florida Blue initiated outreach to OptumInsight to bring the National DPP to Jacksonville and the YMCA which has been part of Florida Blue’s corporate campus for many years.

Florida Blue is also offering the program to enrolled members as well as employees. The health plan has a number of channels in which to promote and expand the program including long term relationships with its employer groups, numerous large national groups, its PCMH (Patient Centered Medical Homes) practices, and 10 retail centers (Florida Blue Centers) that it operates throughout the state including locations in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa.

The retails centers that are operated by Florida Blue are unique to the health insurance industry. They are ‘brick and mortar’ centers staffed by clinicians and sales/service focused individuals that offer members and the community at large information and services. In the retail centers the company not only sells and services health insurance but also has nurse practitioners on site to provide testing and counseling. The combination of the YMCAs, Florida Blue retail centers, and the PCMH practices in the Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa provide options for members to participate in the National Diabetes Program.

Marketing and communication channels to members include direct mail, email communication, web notices, and information provided to providers, physicians and practices. In addition the company has various vendors that help manage targeted member populations including Health Dialog which has the capacity to make targeted phone calls. Florida Blue’s internal data identified current members that are high risk for diabetes. These individuals are a prime source for outreach and enrollment in the program.

Results to Date

  • 30 classes have been launched to date
  • 74% of the enrolled participants (305 total) attended at least four sessions
  • 32% of enrolled participants (135 total) attended at least 9 sessions
  • 80% of participants were female; average age was 50 years
  • Average body mass index (BMI) at start of program was 36
  • Weekly Physical Activity minutes grew fast in the 4-5 first sessions to an average of 150 minutes. It then fell and stabilized after the 8th session, showing an average increase from the 70 minutes to 110 minutes per week.

Scaling and Sustaining the Program

Scaling the evidence-based lifestyle change program will be facilitated by the commitment to grow the Florida Blue Retail Centers and PCMH practices. Sustainability will be made possible by training staff and incorporating the program into its Florida Blue Retail Centers as well as involving key practices in its PCMH which could include participation bonuses depending on the success of the program. Because of the high risk for diabetes in the state, Florida Blue’s commitment to addressing this need is fundamental to its mission to help people and communities achieve better health.