Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has received the Blue Apple Award for the highest percentage of timely prenatal care for their Federal Employee Program member. This is the third time Vermont has received this award.
Berlin, Vermont — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont this week received the Blue Apple Award for the highest percentage of timely prenatal care for their Federal Employee Program members, compared to Blues plans across the country. This is the third time Vermont has received this award from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, which represents 36 plans across the United States.
The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) sets comprehensive performance measurements for standards of care so people can compare outcomes across health plans. Vermont’s only local, non-profit health plan won the award this week for the highest percentage of Federal Employee Plan members who received timely prenatal care according to Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS) measures, though the Vermont plan’s numbers across commercially insured for prenatal and postpartum care are excellent as well.
“This award is a clear reflection of our excellent perinatal health providers across the state,” said Dr. Josh Plavin, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross and a practicing pediatric internist. “We work closely with providers to ensure our members receive the best possible care.”
Vermonters are encouraged to make an appointment with their health care provider as soon as they think they may be pregnant. Prenatal care is critical to catch health complications to the parent and baby early, as well as to screen for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), which can arise anytime during pregnancy and the year following birth. Signs to watch out for are feeling overwhelmed, irritable, guilty, angry, losing interest in previously pleasurable activities, having scary or unwanted thoughts, and exhaustion coupled with insomnia. These feelings are common, but they can be addressed with support.
“Our programs in Vermont, the public education campaigns, and our member care coordination are at the heart of this award, with 90% of federal employees receiving timely prenatal care, and 94% of our commercially insured members receiving timely prenatal care, and 97% received timely postpartum care. This is critical for screening for PMADs, and for addressing physical health concerns quickly,” said Dr. Plavin.
A mobile app helps expecting parents seamlessly track their health and well-being and allows them to communicate with their nurse through text messages. It helps members keep track of appointments, reminders to exercise and eat well, and connects the member with their nurse for emotional support and advice throughout their pregnancy. A member shared, “I loved the mobile app! It helped me the whole way through, including emotional support which surprised me. Every now and then [my nurse] would send a message of encouragement, and it seemed just perfectly timed.”
New and expecting parents are encouraged to attend Good Beginnings of Central Vermont’s fifth annual Climb Out of the Darkness event on June 25 from 10AM to noon at the State House lawn. The event offers a chance for families to connect with each other and learn about the many supportive community resources available in Central Vermont for families with new babies.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is Vermont’s only local, not-for-profit health plan. For over 30 years, the company has been enhancing the health and well-being of the Vermonters we serve by offering innovative plans to individuals, older Vermonters, and businesses. Our employees are dedicated to developing new ways to support high-quality care, programs, and events that promote wellness. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.