We aim to be a leader in ensuring all our members get high-quality, affordable, equitable care. Our first-of-its-kind effort to eliminate racial and ethnic inequities in health care is underway in partnership with clinicians in our network.
For more than 80 years, we have put our members at the center of health care.
We regard health care as a social justice issue. We helped make Massachusetts the first state in the country with near-universal health coverage, an important step toward health equity.
Today, we have a renewed sense of urgency:
To nurture our inclusive and diverse workplace. One that unites people of all backgrounds, talents, and perspectives to drive big changes. A team where everyone is respected, included, and empowered to contribute.
To partner with businesses owned minorities. Women and people of color and LGBTQ entrepreneurs.
To focus our corporate giving programs on health equity and social justice. We make a difference—not just at work, but in the communities we serve. We seek to help all Massachusetts residents lead healthier lives.
To eradicate racial inequities in health care for our members. In partnership with the medical community, we’re working to create a better health care system, for everyone.
Diversity, equity and inclusion are at the core of our values, who we are and what we do, at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.
Addressing health inequities
among our members
The first step toward eliminating racial inequities in health care is to understand exactly where they exist. So in 2021, we analyzed claims data for more than 1.3 million members, and as our inaugural Health Equity Report illustrates, we found significant racial and ethnic disparities. We are taking action, including a $25 million investment in physician practices and hospitals to support the medical community’s efforts to reduce inequities in both access and care. Starting in 2023, we will update our contracts to include financial incentives linked to their progress.
The new contracts will be designed to give medical organizations a business case for new investments aimed at closing equity gaps, just as our quality payment models have long been structured to reward clinicians’ efforts to improve quality and value. We are also offering our employer customers unique access to health data for their employees and partnering on new initiatives to foster health equity. As a health plan, the impetus for us is clear: Employers and members pay the same amount for health insurance regardless of their race, ethnicity or neighborhood, and should receive equally high-quality care.
As a health plan, one of the most powerful tools we have to help guide positive change is the way we pay clinicians who care for our members. This is an evolution of our longstanding work to reward quality care and better outcomes.”
President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Promoting a healthier, more equitable and just community
Our company's corporate citizenship mission is to help all Massachusetts residents lead healthy lives and ensure a healthier, more equitable and just community. In 2021, we expanded our commitment to support not-for-profits that are addressing health inequities in communities across the commonwealth by focusing on three interconnected priorities – food justice, environmental justice and racial justice. Over the next five years, our company will provide $10.6 million in direct financial contributions and $5.5 million in pro bono and in-kind support to the effort.
The same priorities were reflected in our annual company-wide Service Day, which in 2021 brought together some 2,800 employees through in-person and virtual service to volunteer with 90 not-for-profit organizations.
Service Day 2021.
On Sept. 23, 2021, 2,800 Blue Cross volunteers partnered with 90 not-for-profits.
Through 75 in-person projects…
And 25 virtual service events…
Together, we worked to create healthier, more equitable and just communities across Massachusetts.
We are One Community One Blue.
Broadening our foundation’s
The Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation seeks to expand access to health care for low-income and vulnerable residents of Massachusetts through grants, research, and policy initiatives. The Foundation Board of Directors and staff recently added structural racism and racial inequities in health to its other areas of focus, behavioral health and coverage and care. In 2021, our Foundation launched a new grant program to help organizations run by and serving people of color build capacity and strengthen expertise, and issued a comprehensive report on racial inequities in health care access, quality and outcomes.