Blue Cross Gets Top National Award for BluePrint for Health(R) Stop Smoking Program
EAGAN, Minn., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) for the second year in a row has taken top national honors for its stop smoking programming. The American Association of Health Plans (AAHP) awarded Blue Cross' Blu
The AAHP awards recognize and honor the innovative and practical strategies, practices, programs and policies used by health plans to establish effective tobacco prevention and cessation interventions, and to reduce the problems caused by tobacco use.
``Blue Cross has shown the kind of creative leadership in tobacco control that really makes an impact. It treats tobacco use as a chronic condition and offers a smoking cessation program that treats each smoker's unique cessation needs -- that's good medicine,'' said Carmella Bocchino, AAHP vice president for medical affairs.
``We're just thrilled,'' said Marc Manley, M.D., executive director of the Center for Tobacco Reduction and Health Improvement at Blue Cross. ``We've always known we're doing the right thing by helping our members quit smoking. Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death in our state. This award tells us we're playing a crucial role in making Minnesota a healthier place.''
The BluePrint for HealthÂ® stop smoking program recently enrolled its 10,000th participant. In addition, Blue Cross covers physician office visits for smokers to get help quitting, nicotine replacement therapy, such as the nicotine patch and gum, and stop-smoking medications.
On Tuesday Blue Cross was honored with a ``Best of Blue'' award for its tobacco-related research at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association National Awards Program for Innovations and Best Practices in Medical and Pharmacy Management. The winning project, a baseline study of tobacco use in Minnesota, is being used both to guide and assess the impact of Blue Cross' and state efforts to help members quit smoking and to prevent nonsmokers from starting.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota.
A not-for-profit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago.