It was another busy year for Highmark, Inc., as we pursued our goals as a mission-driven health insurance organization. We are committed to delivering value, improving outcomes, and lowering the cost of care. Each achievement in 2022 created an opportunity to serve our member, customer, and provider communities in new and better ways.
We completed the final steps of integrating our New York affiliate into the Highmark care network. The new entity, Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc., serves Blue Cross Blue Shield members in Western New York and Blue Shield members in Northeastern New York and combine to create the fourth-largest Blue Plan in the nation.
“We understand that all health care is local, so we have plans and products that meet the unique needs of each region,” says Craig Riner, SVP Strategic Marketing and CMO of Diversified Businesses Marketing. “Of course, acquisitions have challenges, and we continue to work through those to bring value and quality to our member, customer and provider experiences.”
Highmark also completed an acquisition affiliation and integration with another health plan to create Highmark Wholecare. We now have the ability to serve Medicaid and dual Medicaid-Medicare (D-SNP) patients with targeted products that positively impact health and outcomes.
“This addition means that Highmark now has a health insurance product for everyone, no matter their income level or life stage,” adds Riner. “This is key as government-sponsored health plans keep growing in terms of their presence and scale.”
The acquisitions are just part of the story. Highmark and its health plan affiliates are also investing heavily in the communities we serve. We continue to make progress in ensuring health equity by addressing social determinants of health (SDOH) — including access to health care, safety, food, jobs, transportation, and technology.
“Highmark has created The 80% Project to address social determinants,” says Riner. “We named it as such because 80% of a person’s health and health outcomes are determined by their ZIP code. The Project focuses on the needs of less privileged urban and rural geographies.”
We are investing in ways to address social determinants with a value-based, outcomes-driven community approach to solving these challenges. “We also want employers to understand that even though their employees have health insurance coverage through work, that doesn’t mean they don’t also have social determinants of health concerns,” Riner emphasizes.
We believe that a combined effort between Highmark, state legislators, community-based care providers, employers, and outreach organizations can accelerate progress in this area.
In 2022, we continued to make advancements in technology and communications to help simplify health care and health insurance experiences for our 7 million members. Our strategy includes helpful reminders about annual vaccines and provider visits, life-stage recommendations for benchmark diagnostic tests, and patient education and engagement.
“Our mission at Highmark is to create a remarkable health experience, freeing people to be their best. There is a customer experience mindset to this,” explains Riner. “We want the experience to be frictionless. Highmark focuses on ‘what does this individual member need to know and where do they need to go?’ so we can meet them where they are on their health journey.”
We use data to understand unique member attributes and recommend provider visits and diagnostic testing specific to that member. We also use data prescriptively and predictively to assess existing conditions, determine future health risks, and advise on preventive care. Our goal is to help each Highmark member take the next best healthy action for themselves.
Highmark received several employer accolades in 2022. We were named among America’s Best Employers by Forbes, as well as a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion by the Disability Equality Index. We were also one of the 2022 Gallup Exceptional Workplace Award winners.
Like all companies, however, our approach to employment has changed over the past few years due to COVID-19. We took what was best about how we used to work pre-pandemic and the best of what we learned about remote work and flexibility. Today’s Highmark is a place where people can work in an environment where they can thrive.
“At Highmark, you can work on-site, off-site, or flex between the two,” says Riner. “We’ve created new norms that put us ahead of our competitors in the way we think. Being flexible has opened up our ability to attract remote talent from all over the country. We value being together in person for the right reasons and at the right times, but people don’t have to come into the office every day to be successful here.”
Everything that Highmark achieved in 2022 has set the stage for continued growth and innovation. Top priorities for the new year include:
It all adds up to breaking down barriers — between Highmark and our customers, members and their providers, and the societal constructs that hinder health equity.
All references to “Highmark” in this communication are references to Highmark Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and/or to one or more of its affiliated Blue companies.
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All references to “Highmark” in this document are references to the Highmark company that is providing the member’s health benefits or health benefit administration and/or to one or more of its affiliated Blue companies.
This website is operated by Highmark, Inc. and is not the Health Insurance Marketplace website. It also does not display all Qualified Health Plans available through the Health Insurance Marketplace website. To see all available Qualified Health Plan options, go to the Health Insurance Marketplace website at HealthCare.gov.
Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield or Highmark Blue Shield are Medicare Advantage HMO, PPO, and/or Part D plans with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in these plans depends on contract renewal.
®Blue Cross, Blue Shield and the Cross and Shield symbols are registered service marks of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans. Benefits and/or benefit administration may be provided by or through the following entities, which are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association: Western and Northeastern PA: Highmark Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Choice Company, Highmark Health Insurance Company, Highmark Coverage Advantage Inc., Highmark Benefits Group Inc., First Priority Health, First Priority Life or Highmark Senior Health Company. Central and Southeastern PA: Highmark Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Shield, Highmark Benefits Group Inc., Highmark Health Insurance Company, Highmark Choice Company or Highmark Senior Health Company.
PA: Your plan may not cover all your health care expenses. Read your plan materials carefully to determine which health care services are covered. For more information, call the number on the back of your member ID card or, if not a member, call 866-459-4418.
Delaware: Highmark BCBSD Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
West Virginia: Highmark West Virginia Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Highmark Health Insurance Company or Highmark Senior Solutions Company. Visit our website to view the Access Plan required by the Health Benefit Plan Network Access and Adequacy Act. You may also request a copy by contacting us at the number on the back of your ID card.
Western NY: Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Northeastern NY: Highmark Western and Northeastern New York Inc. d/b/a Highmark Blue Shield.
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