Got your eye on the next big thing? As consumers, we’re continually surrounded by the new, the advanced, the technologically superior. I’ll admit it; I’m a bit of a gadget guy and I’ve fallen for some fancy – but oh so fun – toys. My 3D curved TV? I can honestly say I love that machine. DSLR cameras that send my photographs directly to my smartphone? I’m in. My most recent innovative buy has been my new indoor fitness bike, which isn’t only stunning, but thanks to Wifi and some inspiring instructors has gotten me cycling 75 to 100 miles each week.
“Innovative” is a bit of a buzzword these days — every business wants to be associated with the idea of positive advancement and improvement. But from high-tech gizmos to health care, if you’re going to call yourself innovative, you have to back it up.
At Independence Blue Cross (Independence), we don’t just use the term innovation — we live it. We walk the walk and dedicate time, staff, and funds to not just support innovation, but spur it.
Simply stated, “lnnovative Leadership” is the cornerstone of our corporate mission. Championing health care innovation allows us to continue to enhance the health and wellness of the people and communities we serve.
Since founding our Center for Health Care Innovation, we have been honored and excited to invest in and partner with renowned, forward-thinking medical institutions, companies, and entities — many of them local — who share our passion for innovation. These partnerships have already proven productive and impressive, translating into ideas, products, and initiatives that are finding new and exciting ways to deliver quality, affordable care and change the current health care landscape for the better.
The more than 800 programs we are involved with are varied, but all expressly resonate with our desire to help us work better and more efficiently for our clients and members. In addition, each of our existing partnerships — and those we have yet to execute — continue to strategically position Independence to provide leading edge and quality coverage and care via our expansive network of providers and hospitals. Get to know a few we’re especially excited about:
Powered by Independence and our partners at Penn Medicine, this start-up accelerator provides local creative, idea generators, and entrepreneurs an outlet for growing, testing, and building products that aim to take on troublesome health care issues. We provide feedback from a commercial standpoint, provide advisory services and mentorship, and connect them with the legal, financial, and marketing companies that can take their start-up to the industry. A wonderful recent example is a young Penn student who came up with the concept for a mouthguard that can monitor the force of impact if the wearer is tackled or bumped on the field, and automatically notify a doctor of a potential concussion. We were thrilled to connect him with designers and attorneys that furthered his vision, but also with the Philadelphia Eagles and a variety of local high school athletic departments, all of which were interested in how the technology could help their players.
Independence is excited to see the long-term benefits of this latest transparency tool – a product that gives consumers access to information about the price and quality of health care services and can help them make better decisions about their care. Our members will now be able to search for and view cost estimates and timelines for an upcoming procedure based on the provider and facility they intend to use. From a few keywords, this technology allows members to begin to truly understand their health care process, know where their dollars are going, and make smart choices that work for them and their budget.
Independence offers IBX Wire, which provides timely and important information to members on their personal devices. Members opt in for free* and receive secure, personalized text messages including personal health reminders, coverage information, and updates. It’s a simple program but it can make a large impact and is tied into the way we live today — people may not answer the phone, but they will respond to a text. Our members are opting in because they want that type of connection with their health care, and this allows us to build a stronger rapport between us and the member. There is no price that one can put on that.
As we continue to seek out new and creative programs and lead the way for other health care companies and insurers, it remains our objective to always exceed our customers’ expectation. We hope to make Philadelphia the “Silicon Valley of Health Care” and continue to join with other companies that wholeheartedly embrace this vision.
Learn more about innovation at Independence.
*Standard message and data rates may apply.