BATON ROUGE, La. -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana has received a Brand Excellence Award from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) for Brand Innovation. The annual Brand Excellence awards honor Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that excel in developing and enhancing the overall Blue brand image.
Blue Cross received the award for Brand Innovation, which recognizes an innovative program that provides measurable impact to customers and the Blue brand. Blue Cross was recognized for the insurer’s partnership with the State of Louisiana over the past year on the COVID-19 Louisiana Outbreak Tracker.
Blue Cross’ Analytics & Data team developed the tracker using their proprietary Pi (Performance Insights) platform. Even before the first COVID-19 case was identified in Louisiana in early March 2020, Blue Cross team members and state officials were using the tracker to monitor the novel coronavirus’ spread. They aggregated, analyzed and modeled diverse data for both Blue Cross members and members of state Medicaid plans. Together, this population represents two out of three Louisianians. Data feeds were in near-real time and exchanged through secure use agreements to protect privacy.
The COVID-19 tracker allowed the state to make projections about rates of hospitalizations, deaths and healthcare facilities’ capacity. This gave state officials important information they needed to allocate crucial medical resources, implement mitigation measures like school closings and mask mandates and, ultimately, save lives. That partnership continues today, as Blue Cross works with the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) to provide analysis that can assist with COVID-19 vaccine prioritization.
“Nearly one in three Americans trust the Blue Cross and Blue Shield brand to provide affordable, accessible and high-quality healthcare coverage to them and their families,” said Kim Keck, BCBSA President and CEO. “We are proud to recognize Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and their innovative COVID-19 Louisiana Outbreak tracker for the depth and impact of the solution, especially during the pandemic, along with its broad impact on the communities they serve.”
“We are proud that at such a critical time for the state, our team was able to support the COVID-19 response through our analytics and data capabilities and technology,” said Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Chief Analytics & Data Officer Somesh Nigam, Ph.D. “Public-private partnerships like this one are an example of how success can happen through collaboration. And, we continue supporting the state’s COVID-19 response in other ways, including with our clinical resources and community outreach to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”
“Blue Cross’ insights and expertise on this COVID-19 data project have helped the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) and our state during a time of unprecedented need and uncertainty,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney Phillips. “The additional data visualization, analytics and statistical modeling capacity that the Blue Cross team contributed have informed many of the difficult decisions that state leaders have made throughout the pandemic.”
“The working partnership between LDH and Blue Cross was established very early in the pandemic and it has evolved and grown over the course of the last year,” said Jeanie Donovan, Policy Director at LDH. “I’m deeply grateful for the time and talent the Blue Cross team has devoted to this partnership and appreciate their willingness to work hand-in-hand with us.”
This marks the 26th year that BCBSA has presented the prestigious Brand Excellence Awards to recognize Blue companies nationwide in categories that promote the brand, including attracting new customers, fostering loyalty among existing customers and brand innovation.