Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Takes Quality a Step Further
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan wants to make sure you get good care and services. To help make this happen, we have created a complete Quality Improvement Program. The goal of the program is to make sure that our promise of giving good care to our members is being met. The program measures many different parts of the care and services we offer. You can find results for the program on our web site at www.blueshieldca.com/promise. You can also call and request the results by calling our Quality Improvement Department at (800) 468-9935.
These measurements include:
- Studies to ensure that appointments and after-hour are available
- Studies to measure how long patients wait in the office for an appointment
- Facility site reviews - This includes looking at easy access to the facility for disabled people
- Making sure that the network of doctors in your area fits your needs
- Patient satisfaction surveys
- Doctor satisfaction surveys
- Quality of care studies to assure appropriate:
- Colon and rectal cancer screening
- Bone density screening
- Breast cancer screening
- Diabetes care
- Glaucoma screening
- High blood pressure care
- Cholesterol management
- Management of Chronic Lung Disease
- Transitions of Care
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan encourages appropriate use of benefits and services and discourages underuse of them. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan does not reward staff or doctors for keeping members from getting care.
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Programs to Help You Manage Your Health Care
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Programs
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan has established a Disease Management Program to provide education, care coordination and support to our members with certain chronic conditions.
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan refers to these programs as Population Health Management. Participation in these programs is free and voluntary for all program eligible Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan members.
These programs provide the member with the education necessary to better manage their condition. Our Disease Management nurse will work closely with the member and their doctor to help keep them as healthy as possible and avoid unnecessary hospitalizations. The nurse will assist the member in coordinating their care and obtaining all required preventive health screenings.
All programs are administered by Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan automatically identifies members with these medical conditions who meet specific criteria and offers them participation in these programs. The more you learn about these conditions and the medicines used to treat it, the better you will be able to work with your doctor to control it. In order to help you meet these goals, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan provides these programs to you.
Benefits to the Member
- Regular Nurse Calls - telephone contact from our disease managers to review the member's health status and provide support and education
- Telephone Support - toll-free number available for our members to speak with our Disease Manager about their condition and answer any questions they may have
- Reminders - to obtain preventive health screenings, exams and tests as needed
- Educational Mailings - to help understand the member’s chronic condition
- Peak Flow Meter - (for Asthma only) ages >5 to help better manage and monitor the member's condition
Benefits to the Physician
- Member Compliance - with physician treatment plan
- Detailed Reports - informing physician of member's status changes, or concerns that may require physician intervention
- Comprehensive Member Medication Profile
- Care Coordination - with PCP and Specialists.
If you want additional information or would like to discuss Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan's Population Health Management Programs with our Disease Manager, you can call (866) 991-8222.
The following Population Health Management Programs are available:
Medi-Cal: Asthma &CHF
Medicare: COPD & CHF
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Assures Your Rights
You have the right to know:
- Know your rights and responsibilities.
- Know about our services, doctors, and specialists.
- Be informed when your doctor is no longer contracted with Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan.
- Know about all our other caregivers.
- Be able to see your medical records and follow the State and Federal laws that apply.
- Have an honest talk with your doctor about all treatment choices for your condition, regardless of cost or benefit coverage.
You have the right to be treated well:
- Always be treated with respect and recognition of your dignity.
- Have your privacy kept safe by everyone in our health plan.
- Know that we keep all your information private.
You have the right to be in charge of your health care:
- Choose your primary care doctor.
- Say no to care from your primary care doctor or other caregivers.
- Be able to make choices about your health care.
- Make a living will. This is also called an advance directive.
- Voice complaints or appeals about Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan or the care it offers.
- File a grievance if you do not receive services in the language you request.
You have the right to receive the following range of services:
- Family planning services.
- Preventive health care services.
- Minor consent services.
- Treatment for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
- Emergency care outside of our network.
- Health care from a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
- Health care at an Indian Health Center.
- A second opinion.
- Interpreter services at no cost. This includes services for the hearing-impaired.
- Informing information materials in other formats. For example, you can request large size print upon request.
You have the right to suggest changes to our health plan
- Tell us what you do not like about our health plan.
- Tell us what you do not like about the health care you get.
- Ask questions about our decisions about your health care.
- Tell us what you do not like about our rights and responsibilities policy.
- Ask the Department of Social Services for a Fair Hearing.
- Ask the Department of Managed Health Care for an Independent Medical Review.
- Choose to leave our health plan.
You Have Important Responsibilities for Your Healthcare
We hope you will work with your doctors as partners in your health care. Please see the following:
- Make an appointment with your doctor for an exam within 120 days of becoming a new member. This exam is called an initial health assessment.
- Tell your doctor what he or she needs to know to treat you.
- Learn as much as you can about your health.
- Follow the treatment plans you and your doctors agree to.
- Follow what the doctor tells you to do to take good care of yourself.
- Do the things that keep you from getting sick.
- Bring your ID card with you when you visit your doctor.
- Treat your doctors and other caregivers with respect.
- Use the emergency room for emergencies only. Your doctor will give you most of the medical care that you need.
- Report health care fraud.
We want you to understand your health plan
- Know and follow the rules of your health plan.
- Know that laws guide our health plan and the services you get.
- Know that we can not treat you different because of, age, sex, race, national origin, culture, language needs, sexual orientation and/or health.
Having Access to Care is a Priority
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan uses the following guidelines to make sure that you have proper access to care:
Criteria / Standard
Emergency Exam / Immediately
When you call the doctor's office with an emergency medical condition they must arrange for you to be seen right away. They may refer you to the Emergency Room or call 911.
Urgent Doctor's Exam / Within 24 hours
When you contact your doctor’s office with an urgent medical condition we require they see you within 24 hours. We strongly urge the doctor to work you in on a walk-in basis the same day. If a situation comes up where the doctor is not available he or she should refer you to a covering doctor or give you directions on where to be seen within 24 hours.
Sensitive services must be made available to you preferably within 24 hours but not to go beyond 48 hours of an appointment request. Sensitive services are services related to:
- Sexual Assault
- Drug or alcohol abuse
- Family Planning
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Outpatient mental health treatment and counseling
Routine Doctor's, Non-urgent Exam / Within 10 business Days
When you request an appointment for a routine, non-urgent condition, you must be given an appointment within 10 business days. A routine visit could be a follow-up for blood pressure, diabetes or asthma.
Initial Prenatal Visit to OB/GYN Doctor / Within 7 Calendar Days
You do not need a prior authorization to see an OB/GYN doctor.
Preventive Care and Physical Exam / Within 30 Calendar Days
Initial Health Assessments / Within 30 calendar days upon request
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan suggests you make this appointment within the first 60 days from when you became eligible. Your doctor should ask you to fill out "Staying Health Assessment" form at this appointment.
After-hours Care / Doctors are required by contract to give 24 hour, 7 days week coverage to their patients.
These same standards are required by doctors "on-call".
Doctors or office staff must return any non-emergency phone calls from you within 24 hours of your call. Urgent and emergency calls must be handled by the doctor or his or her "on-call" coverage immediately. Clinical advice can only be given by qualified staff (e.g.: physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or registered nurse).
Waiting Time in Office
30 minutes at the most after time of appointment
Access for Disabled Members
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan audits doctor's offices every three years to make sure they are following the rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Seldom Used Specialty Services
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan will arrange for seldom used specialty services from specialists outside the network when determined medically necessary.
Failed Appointments (Patient does not show for a scheduled appointment)
If a patient does not show up for a scheduled appointment, it must be written in the medical record on the day of the missed appointment. The doctor's office must contact the patient by mail or phone within 48 hours to re-schedule the appointment. If a patient keeps missing appointments, the doctor can refer this issue to the Health Plan for counseling.
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Evaluates Specialist Access to Care Standards
Emergency Care / Immediately
If you contact the specialist’s office with an emergency need they must contact your doctor right away or direct you to the Emergency Room or call 911.
Urgent Specialist Exam / Within 48 hours
When a doctor refers you for an urgent care medical issue to a specialist (e.g., fracture) they are required to see you within 48 hours or sooner from the time the referral was first authorized.
Routine Specialist Visit, Non-urgent Exam
Within 30 Calendar Days.
Doctors are required by contract to give 24 hour, 7 days week coverage to members. Doctors "on-call" require the same standards of access and availability.
Doctor's, or office staff, must return any non-emergency phone calls from you within 24 hours of your call. The doctor or his or her "on-call" coverage must handle urgent and emergent calls immediately. Only qualified staff can give clinical advice (e.g.: physician, physician assistant, nurse practitioner or registered nurse).
Waiting Time in Office
30 minutes at the most after time of appointment.
Failed Appointments (Patient fails to show for a scheduled appointment)
Failed appointments must be written in the medical record the day of the missed appointment and the doctor's office is required to contact you by mail or phone to reschedule you within 48 hours. Repeated failed appointments could result in referring these issues to the health plan for counseling.
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Answers Frequently Asked Questions
How do I choose a doctor?
You will find a guide on how to choose a doctor in the Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Provider Directory. In this directory there is a list of doctors near you. If you do not choose a doctor within 30 days of enrollment one will be chosen for you. You have the right to change your doctor if you wish at any time. If you have any questions or need help contact our Member Services at (800) 544-0088. If you are hard of hearing call the TTY line at 711.
How do I get more information about my doctor?
You may have questions that are not answered by our provider directory. You can call our Member Services at (800) 544-0088 (TTY 711) and get information such as:
- Doctors office hours
- Languages the doctor or staff speak
- Is the doctor a man or a woman
- How long have they been practicing
- Medical training history
What do I do if I lose my ID Card?
If you lose your ID card call our Member Services at (800) 544-0088 (TTY 711) to request a new card. If you are having trouble getting care because you lost your card, call the same number and someone will be able to help you.
How do I get care after hours?
It is important you always carry your Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan ID card with you. If you think you have an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room. Call your doctor if you need medical care and he or she can help you to arrange care. If your doctor is not available contact our (800) 544-0088 (TTY 711) and we will help you.
How do I file a Complaint?
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan wants to give you the best care and services. Sometimes you may not be satisfied with the services that have been given to you. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan wants to help you when you are unhappy or are having problems.
You can contact our Member Services at (800) 544-0088 (TTY 711) with questions or to file a verbal complaint. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan also has complaint forms for you to complete if you wish to file a formal complaint in writing. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan will send you a written acknowledgement within five (5) days of your filing a complaint. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan will also send you a written decision within 30 days. You can also get a formal complaint form at your doctor's office or Click Here to file on-line.
How can I get transportation* to my appointments?
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan offers free transportation to your doctor's appointments.
This benefit is only for members in the following plans:
- Blue Shield Promise AdvantageOptimum
- Blue Shield Promise Coordinated Choice
- Blue Shield Promise TotalDual
For transportation, please call the Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Member Services at (877) 433-2178 / TTY (800) 735-2929, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week, from Oct. 1st – Mar. 31st and 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. weekdays, from Apr. 1st – Sept. 30th .
How can I get interpreter services?
Our Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Member Services has staff that speaks several different languages. They will be able to help you in your language when you call. If you need interpreter services for appointments you can call (800) 544-0088 and arrange for these services. We also offer face to face interpreter services and sign language services upon your request. Hard of hearing members should call the TTY line at 711.
What if I have Medical Services Denied?
It is very rare that Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan denies care or services that have been requested. You or your doctor can appeal the denial in writing and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan will review the appeal. If Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan does not change the initial decision, your case will be forwarded to the Independent Review Entity (IRE) to review your case.
For Medical Coverage:
We are required to send your appeal to the "Independent Review Organization". When we do this, it means that your appeal is going on to the next level of the appeals process, which is Level 2.
For Drug Coverage:
If we say no to your Level 1 Appeal, the written notice we send you will include instructions on how to make a Level 2 Appeal with the Independent Review Organization. These instructions will tell who can make this Level 2 Appeal, what deadlines you must follow, and how to reach the review organization.
What if I have a complaint about the quality of care I receive or think I my coverage for a hospital, home health agency, skilled nursing or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facility is ending too soon?
If you have a complaint about quality of care and think that your coverage for your hospital, skilled nursing facility, home health agency, or comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation stay is ending too soon, you can file a complaint with the Quality Improvement Organization.
Members in California can file a complaint with Livanta:Livanta
(California's Quality Improvement Organization)
Call: (877) 588-1123
TTY: (855) 887-6668
Livanta BFCC-QIO Program
9090 Junction Drive, Suite 10
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Assess New Medical Technology
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan understands that health care is changing every day. There are new treatments being developed all the time. Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan looks at these new treatments all the time to decide how safe they are. We also look to see if they could help our members.
Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan has a committee to look at new medicines. We have another committee to look at new treatments. These committees include doctors from all different specialties. It also includes medical directors.
- looks at new medicines and treatments
- keeps patient safety as the number one goal
- looks to see if the government has approved the new treatment
- looks to see if there are good studies that show a real benefit
- looks to see if the treatment helps as much or more than treatments already approved
- looks to see if the new treatment helps the overall health of the patient
Advance Directives Right Notification
- At enrollment, you have the right to accept or refuse treatment and to complete an advance directive and we will assist you on how to complete the advance directive.
- You have the right to file a complaint with the state survey and certification agency.
Please click on the following links to get more information on Advance Directives: