PA health plan offers up mobile site, wellness text messages

By Brian Dolan
Share

Highmark BCBS Health At HandPittsburgh-based Highmark recently launched two mobile initiatives: Free motivational messages and wellness-related health tips via text messages and a mobile-optimized version of its website that gives iPhone and Android users access to claims history and GPS-enabled access to the insurer's provider directory.

"We understand that members want to interact with their health insurer on their own terms," Steven Nelson, senior vice president of health services strategy, product and marketing at Highmark stated in a company release. "For some, that might be viewing plan details on our website. For others, it could be a chat with a customer service rep. Now, with a mobile website and text messaging, we're giving them even more options to interact with us how and when they want."

The health plan's wellness SMS program, called Encouraging Words of Wisdom, recently launched for those Highmark members enrolled in its personal nutrition coaching program. The free program has individuals meet with a registered dietician up to seven times per year and the SMS component aims to help users stay motivated. The messages are not personalized for the individual members. Instead they are canned messages, including: "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve" and "The best food comes in its own package" as well as "If you focus on results, you won't change. But if you focus on change, you'll get results."

Last year Highmark announced plans to sunset and relaunch its Health@Hand iPhone app which it built in 2010 with A.D.A.M. on that company's Medzio platform. The Health@Hand app is still available via the Apple AppStore and was updated as recently as last month. Here's what it offers besides health and wellness information: "It’s a fast and easy way to help you find local healthcare services such as urgent care centers, retail clinics, hospitals, and doctors, all from the palm of your hand. You will also have access to health coaching tips, information about health and wellness programs, and member discounts." Screenshots from the app appear to be the same as those in the AppStore last year.

For more on the mobile site and motivational messages, read the release below:

PRESS RELEASE: PITTSBURGH, March 9, 2012 -- To reach members where they are and take advantage of growing mobile technology, Highmark Inc. recently launched two mobile programs including motivational health and wellness texting and mobile websites for members to access Highmark's provider directory, claims history and more on a iPhone or Android phone.

More U.S. adults own mobile phones than own computers, and mobile phone ownership rates among young adults have reached 96 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds, according to the Pew Research Center.

"We understand that members want to interact with their health insurer on their own terms," said Steven Nelson, senior vice president of health services strategy, product and marketing at Highmark. "For some, that might be viewing plan details on our website. For others, it could be a chat with a customer service rep. Now, with a mobile website and text messaging, we're giving them even more options to interact with us how and when they want."

Highmark's mobile text program, Encouraging Words of Wisdom, recently began for individuals enrolled in Highmark's Personal Nutrition Coaching program, which is free for Highmark members and available at more than 90 locations across Highmark's Pennsylvania and West Virginia service areas. During Personal Nutrition Coaching, individuals meet with a registered dietitian for up to seven sessions in a calendar year. Individuals in Personal Nutrition Coaching can supplement their coaching by signing up for Encouraging Words of Wisdom to receive motivational text messages every other day to stay on track with their wellness goal.

Examples of texts to members include:

Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.

The best food comes in its own package.

If you focus on results, you won't change. But if you focus on change, you'll get results.

Highmark also launched mobile websites in its service areas that can be accessed from iPhone and Android phones and that provide more quick and easy access to the most used functions of Highmark's full websites.

On the mobile websites, members can easily search for providers with the option to use GPS to identify a provider location and get directions. The mobile site also offers claims history so that members can quickly review the services that they received and their member liability amount for that service.

About Highmark Inc.

Highmark Inc., based in Pittsburgh, is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Highmark serves 4.8 million members in Pennsylvania and West Virginia through the company's health care benefits business and is one of the largest Blue plans in the nation. Highmark has 19,500 employees across the country. For more than 70 years, Highmark's commitment to the community has consistently been among the company's highest priorities as it strives to positively impact the communities where we do business. For more information, visit www.highmark.com.

SOURCE Highmark Inc.