ACT.md, a national provider of team-based care coordination technology and services, today announced a partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (Blue Cross) and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) to change the trajectory for people with major medical diagnoses by developing coping skills and building patient resiliency. Nurse coaches at Blue Cross will use ACT.md’s Care Coordination Record™ to engage members in an innovative, evidence-based health coaching program called Life Balance, developed by experts in behavioral health at BWH.
“We’re proud of our partnership with the nationally-renowned Blue Cross and Brigham teams,” said ACT.md co-founder and CEO Ted Quinn. “The Life Balance program is perfectly aligned with our flexible workflow management tools. Members will benefit from on-demand access to their nurse coach and care teams, care plan, and tailored educational content. Because their Care Coordination Record is available on any device, members will be able to take Life Balance with them anywhere they go.”
Nearly 30 percent of patients with any medical condition also have a behavioral health challenge. For patients with certain chronic conditions, such as cancer or heart disease, the rate of behavioral health comorbidity is even higher. According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, this combination correlates with shorter lifespan, decreased quality of life, and higher preventable healthcare costs.
“There is an immense opportunity to improve outcomes for patients faced with a challenging medical diagnosis through the use of technology, evidence-based content, and social connections,” said David K. Ahern, PhD, Director of the Program in Behavioral Informatics and eHealth in the Department of Psychiatry at BWH, and co-inventor of Life Balance. “Through this partnership, we will equip nurse coaches with the ability to teach patients important skills while also supporting the connection between patients, caregivers and loved ones.”
Life Balance focuses on health plan members who have recently experienced a significant complex health care condition or episode (e.g., oncology, cardiology, joint replacement.) Complex medical conditions may be devastating emotionally for patients and families and are typically very costly to the healthcare system. The goal of the Life Balance program is to improve care through coaching patients on how best to relate to their providers, utilize healthcare services, and thus enrich the quality of their lives.
“The nurse coach’s warm personality was shining through the phone. She told me that she would be with me every step of the way,” said Jen S.*, a Blue Cross member who participated in the pilot. “I cannot express how valuable these tools were during the toughest times and still are. To say that it was/is helpful is a vast understatement. The nurse coach offered me a pillar of strength to lean on during a really hard time. Your program is outstanding.”
In its first phase, Life Balance was piloted as part of a unique collaborative research agreement between Blue Cross and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Making Life Balance available to more Blue Cross members via ACT.md is the second phase of this partnership. This phase of the collaboration is funded by Zaffre Investments, the investment arm of Blue Cross.
*The member’s full name and contact information has been shielded to maintain member confidentiality.
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (www.bluecrossma.com) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are the trusted health plan for more than 31,500 Massachusetts employers and are committed to working with others in a spirit of shared responsibility to make quality health care affordable. Consistent with our corporate promise to always put our 2.8 million members first, we are rated among the nation’s best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn.
ACT.md is a digital health company that simplifies complex care for everyone involved. ACT.md’s Care Coordination Record™ connects all care team members and drives coordinated action through one cloud-based interoperable platform. ACT.md’s Care Traffic Control™ extends the impact of care teams while supporting patients and preventing system failures. Learn more at ACT.md.