Blue Cross Rolls Out Electronic Tool Kit to Ensure Access to Healthcare for Members Traveling or Displaced

Baton Rouge – In response to lessons learned from hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has rolled out easy tools that ensure members have access to healthcare and health records at all times. 

At no additional cost, Blue Cross members now have access to electronic health records, online claims management and a smart phone app to help members who are out of state find network doctors and hospitals.

“In the days and weeks following Hurricane Katrina’s wrath, many Louisiana residents found themselves in the office of a new doctor and that new doctor trying to fill in the missing pieces of a healthcare puzzle,” says Mike Reitz, President and CEO.  “Paper records were missing or water logged; and many doctors were also evacuated and unable to provide patient history.”

Health records that include diagnoses and prescriptions, along with information like when a patient last had immunizations and who can speak for them in a medical emergency, are key to getting good healthcare when traveling, displaced or evacuated.  Blue Cross allows members to create a Personal Health Record easily online, based on information from the members. Alternatively, members can quickly access a Blue Health Record, which gives a snapshot of the member’s health over the last three years, based on claims data.

The Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder is a complete directory of providers in Blue Cross networks across the nation.  Members who choose a network doctor or hospital will avoid a surprising, unexpected medical bill from their healthcare providers.

“With this set of tools, we’re making sure our 1.4 million members can get the care they need no matter where they end up,” Reitz adds. 

Blue Cross urges our members to take advantage of online services like Personal Health Records, Blue Health Records, the provider app and information release forms before booking a family vacation or facing the prospect of evacuating because of a hurricane.

Here are some smart and simple steps a member should take to access information while away from home:

  • Sign up for an online account on www.bcbsla.com. Members must log in to get access online health records, to find a network doctor and to handle many other health plan needs while away from home.
  • Create a Personal Health Record for you and your family. This secure, password-protected online record is available 24/7, from any internet-connected computer.
  • Tell their doctor about their Blue Health Record. This is a three-year health history based on claims with Blue Cross or HMO Louisiana that a member can access and share with their doctor. Doctors can access the record with permission.
  • Download the Blue National Doctor and Hospital Finder mobile app. Download this free app to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch mobile device to find network doctors, urgent care centers and hospitals nearby.

For more about how to prepare for a hurricane finding a network doctor or hospital nationwide, can be found at www.bcbsla.com.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana
Founded in New Orleans in 1934, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana is the oldest and largest Louisiana-based health insurance company. Blue Cross is a not-for-profit, fully taxed mutual insurer, owned by policyholders and governed by a local Board of Directors. It is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

The company provides group and individual health insurance plans, life and disability insurance, group voluntary products and administrative services to more than 1.3 million members. With headquarters in Baton Rouge and eight district offices, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana employs more than 1,800 Louisianians who are committed to improving the lives of its customers by providing them with health guidance and affordable access to quality care.

Learn more on the company’s website at www.bcbsla.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bluecrossla. Follow Blue Cross on Twitter at www.twitter.com/BCBSLA and CEO Mike Reitz at www.twitter.com/MikeReitzCEO