Study shows Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health care nurses are more effective in engaging members in healthy lifestyle changes

June 25, 2012

DETROIT — Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan health coach nurses have undergone a rigorous training program aimed at more effectively helping Blue Cross members with chronic conditions and unhealthy behaviors to understand the benefits of changing to a healthier lifestyle.

Nurses undergoing the training were measured by the HealthSciences Institute, the largest chronic care and motivational interviewing health coaching training, certification and quality improvement organization. As a result of the training, the nurses improved their motivational interviewing skills by 46 percent over the course of 2011.

“We are committed to having a top-notch health coach counseling program and this is one way we are finding more effective ways to engage individuals in making positive lifestyle changes,” said Ann Baker, senior director of wellness, care management and health promotion at BCBSM.

HealthSciences completed a rigorous study that showed a significant relationship between member enrollment rates in health coaching programs at BCBSM and the overall skill set of health coach nurses in motivational interviewing. This first-ever study provides insight as to how a health plan can motivate individuals to make positive lifestyle changes to improve their health.

“We worked with Michigan Blue Cross on a health coach performance assessment to measure return on investment by tracking the value of health coaching services delivered to their customers,” said Dr. Blake Andersen, CEO, HealthSciences Institute. “This program raises the bar for health coaching by all health plans.”

As part of the program, all BCBSM nurses and health coaches completed a 40-hour online curriculum in chronic care and health coaching, followed by onsite, hands-on training. Feedback is provided to nurses and health coaches on a quarterly basis to monitor progress.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.4 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com.

©1996-2014 Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. We provide health insurance in Michigan.

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