2023 IN BRIEF
As we begin 2024, I'd like to share a brief overview of our company's strategic priorities, the values that drive our work, and the ambitious goals we've set for ourselves. I also want to thank you for your continued support and collaboration, which mean so much to us.
As I'm sure you know, it's a critical time for all of us in health care, with huge opportunities to do better. Two challenges stand out:
- The health care system is letting people down, especially when they are most vulnerable and in need of help. Patient and consumer experiences with health care and insurance can be confusing, disappointing, aggravating, and ultimately unhealthy because of a lack of clarity, coordination and continuity.
- Rising health care costs are hurting everyone. Health care is taking a growing portion of budgets for businesses, families and individuals, as well as for every level of government, pushing aside other worthy priorities.
Over the past several months, I’ve been working with our Blue Cross leadership team to take a fresh look at how we can meet these challenges, what our members and customers expect of us, and what will continue to set us apart from our local and national competitors.
The result: A refreshed mission and strategy built on the promise that we will always show up for our members when they need us most, and that we will guide them to the exceptional health care they deserve. Atención médica que es asequible, igualitaria y sin complicaciones.
This means that, along with being the best at carrying out our traditional financial, administrative and member service functions, we aim to be the best at making sure our members across the country - with all their unique needs, expectations and life experiences - never fall through the cracks. We want to be there as a trusted ally whenever they face tough questions and decisions about their care: What do I do next? How do I know I'm getting what's best for me? What are my options? What will I have to pay?
So, what about cost? There’s pressure from all directions: advances in medical technology, breakthrough drugs, demand for care delayed during the pandemic, rising labor costs and shortages, and more. Making health care more affordable is an absolute top priority for Blue Cross, but our company can’t do it alone. Insurers, providers, pharmacies, employers, community leaders, lawmakers and regulators all need to work on these challenges together.
We’ll do our part to bring down the total cost of care. We’re cutting through unnecessary red tape to help decrease costs for clinicians in our network, and finding new ways to trim our own administrative spending. We’re collaborating with the health care organizations in our network to ensure our payments are based on clear accountability for quality, equity and efficiency. We’re targeting drug costs through new pharmacy partnerships and benefit options for our members. We’re investing in advanced technology that can identify fraud and waste, and save our members, customers and provider partners both time and money. And, we’re advocating for policy changes that can help make the health care system work better for everyone.
Of course, we all face other related challenges. A few that I’m especially invested in addressing: Our current system doesn’t adequately support urgently needed improvements in mental health and women’s health, both of which have suffered from stigma and neglect. And, there are far too many racial and ethnic disparities in who gets needed care, such as preventive services, tests and access to the best information and treatments.
As our 2023 highlights show, we’re supporting our communities, customers and members in Massachusetts and across the country by taking the lead on these difficult issues. With determination, innovation and collaboration, I’m confident that we’ll succeed.
All the best,
President and CEO