Thousands of miles from home, he felt anxious and helpless. Then he reached Danielle.
A Massachusetts father’s family vacation in Lebanon took a terrifying turn last fall when his young daughter suddenly experienced a nose bleed that would not stop. She was rushed to the hospital and stabilized, but she needed a blood transfusion and five days to recover. After her parents paid an $800 deposit, they were told that the final hospital bill would be in the thousands. How could they confirm to the hospital that their Blue Cross coverage would pay it?
Mentally and physically exhausted, the girl’s father found cell phone reception in a small corner of the hospital and called our member services center. Danielle Palkens took the call. “She calmed me down right away and said, ‘Let’s just focus on your daughter,’” the father recalled. “She turned the situation and my perspective 180 degrees.”
At one point, Palkens lost their phone connection, so she texted the father to reassure him that she would resolve the problem and there was nothing more he needed to do. Within hours, she and a colleague secured the guarantee of payment the hospital required and the little girl was soon headed back home with her family. Her father, who works in the customer service business himself, wanted us to know how important Palkens had been to him and his family during a traumatic time. “Today we don’t take the time to acknowledge good things when they happen, only the negative,” he said. “I wanted to highlight the amazing job that Danielle did. For us, she was the light at the end of the tunnel.”
Empathy on call
While this father rightly saw Danielle Palkens’ response to his call for help as exceptional, it is typical of our member services team’s approach to every challenge that comes their way: They handle it with empathy and they take ownership, calling pharmacies, hospitals and doctors’ offices when necessary to solve problems on the spot.
“It’s our responsibility to not only resolve the issues of our members, but to show them we understand what they’re going through, and to support them in every way possible,” said Member Services Senior Director Jennifer Carbone, above. “That’s why new service center employees are trained in empathetic communication,” she added. “We give them the opportunity to step into the member’s shoes for all kinds of potentially difficult experiences, ranging from opening bills they don’t understand to getting upsetting test results.”
Along with problem-solving, employees are trained to treat every inbound call as a chance to understand members’ underlying needs and help them with navigation and advocacy. For example, a request for a new ID card may be an opportunity to help the caller understand what they might need to spend for an upcoming treatment, based on their coverage or the clinician they choose.
J.D. Power rates us No. 1 on all phone interaction attributes: timeliness of resolution, courtesy, promptness, knowledge, concern and ease of use.
Expanding our digital connections
We pride ourselves on a service approach that is built on human interaction, but an increasing number of our members – of all ages – like to use the advanced self-service features of our MyBlue app and web portal for personalized, relevant, succinct guidance.
“In 2018, we transformed the MyBlue web and mobile experience to make these tools simpler and more personalized and intuitive for members.”
Vice President of Digital and
The new digital experience offers several enhancements, including a personalized MyBlue spending and health information dashboard that puts a user’s specific plans, benefits and tools right at their fingertips, and a new, secure message and document center for personalized messages.
With our WellConnection telehealth benefit, users can set up live medical and behavioral health video visits with licensed doctors and other clinicians, using a smart phone, tablet or computer.
By analyzing data from our digital services, we are able to understand more about how our members prefer to engage with us and we can develop specific information campaigns that are relevant to their needs. “The marrying of data, analytics, informational campaigns and our digital features ultimately lead to a better customer experience for our members, including improved access to high-quality care and greater cost-effectiveness,” said Kukreja.
MyBlue received the 2018 Platinum Award for Mobile Strategy from eHealthcare Leadership Awards, placing us at the top of the category among large health care organizations across the country.