New Energy-Efficient Streetlamps Part of Ongoing Improvements to Blues’ Downtown Detroit Campus

To improve the quality of public life downtown, the Blues recently announced a partnership with the City of Detroit, the Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Detroit Partnership to install 1,077 high-efficiency streetlights downtown. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is installing 41 lampposts along its properties that border the BLUpath, our name for an urban trail that connects the Tower headquarters with the Jefferson Building and new offices in Towers 500 and 600 of the GM Renaissance Center.

Grassy areas that border East Lafayette Boulevard outside the Tower are the latest area to undergo a facelift in preparation for the new energy-efficient streetlamps.

Construction workers operating mini track loaders and excavators dug trenches and installed cables and cement bases for LED lamps along the walkway. Barricades prevented pedestrians from entering the site.

By replacing high-intensity discharge streetlamps, which typically use 200 watts and last three years, the city expects to gain annual savings of almost $57,000 with the installation of LED lamps that last 10 years and burn only 73 watts.

The new streetlamp project is one of several building-related initiatives the Blues plan to complete this year.

Besides moving the last of 3,000 Blues employees into GM Renaissance Center Towers 500 and 600, Blue Cross is building a new entrance and collaborative space for employees at its Jefferson Building facility, scheduled to open mid-summer.

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Blue Care Network’s Growing Upper Peninsula Network Offers More Ways to Get Healthy, Save Money

Blue Care Network has expanded its provider and hospital network to Houghton County, making it the third county in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where residents can select from the Healthy Blue LivingSM suite of wellness-based HMO plans.

BCN is offering its Healthy Blue Living and Healthy Blue Living RewardsSM plans to groups enrolling at least 50 members.

Group customers that sponsor either of the two products have saved an average of 5 to 7 percent on premiums compared to other PPO products. More than 70 percent of members of the HBL are living healthy and have earned enhanced benefits, where they save most on premiums.

Healthy Blue Living, which is celebrating its fifth year of helping members get healthier, offers lower health care costs to members in exchange for committing to work toward key heath targets, such as Body Mass Index and blood pressure readings.

Similarly, Healthy Blue Living Rewards is an outcomes-based HMO that offers lower insurance costs when members achieve improved health results.

The expansion into Houghton County adds 11 primary care physicians, 84 specialists and Portage Health Hospital in Houghton to BCN’s growing U.P. network. BCN is now accepted in Mackinac, Marquette and Houghton counties.

BCN officially expanded its provider network in to the U.P. Oct. 1, 2011 with the addition of Marquette County. (Mackinac County had previously been included as part of the HMO’s West and Northern Michigan network.) The company hopes to further expand its Upper Peninsula network in 2012.

For more information, visit MiBCN.com or read the news release. You can also view a map of BCN’s service area.

Photo by pcfishhk

Dome Magazine Profiles Blues President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp

Daniel J. Loepp’s Detroit upbringing, work ethic, ambition and “ability to read political tea leaves” take center stage in a new Dome Magazine profile of the president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The profile “Comfortable with Politics,” by business writer Carol Cain, touches on Loepp’s previous  role as chief of staff for former Michigan House Speaker Curtis Hertel. It discusses how Loepp joined the Blues in 2000, was asked to lead the company in 2006 and has emerged as a strong civic leader:

Many are surprised to learn that the not-for-profit insurance provider has 8,000 employees and an economic impact of $22 billion in the state, and ranks only behind General Motors and Ford Motor Co. in revenue. Besides providing insurance to almost five million people in the state, BCBSM has made its presence felt in downtown Grand Rapids, Lansing and the Motor City as it invested millions in facilities and moved thousands of employees from suburban locations to those downtowns.

Read the rest of the article here.

Embracing Diversity Makes Michigan Stronger

Blues President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp.

Diversity is good business.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan this week hosted its annual Supplier Diversity Achievement Awards program, a combination awards ceremony and networking event that gives the company a chance to say “thank you” to the vendors that help it succeed.

The company gave out awards to seven women- and minority-owned businesses whose services have been invaluable to the success of the Blues and its subsidiaries — Blue Care Network, Accident Fund Holdings, Inc., and LifeSecure. Another four awards went to Blues’ staff members and departments for excellence in achieving corporate supplier diversity achievement goals.

It’s the seventh consecutive year of celebrating partnerships with companies that reflect the makeup of the communities we serve and share the Blues’ focus on operational excellence.

In 2011, BCBSM spent $175 million with 182 women- and minority-owned suppliers. These business help the company strengthen its information technology and compliance capabilities, lower administrative costs, reduce risk and focus on its mission of providing access to quality health care to anyone who needs it.

Forging ties with diverse, homegrown businesses is one example of how Blue Cross is committed to strengthening Michigan and its core cities. Another is our ongoing move to the Renaissance Center, which will conclude in June when our downtown Detroit workforce will stand at 6,300 people.

In moving 3,000 employees to the RenCen, and including the Accident Fund’s move into a former power plant in Lansing, Blue Cross spent more than $22.5 million with nine different women- or minority-owned businesses last year. Several of them, including Wireless Resources Inc. of Madison Heights and Alliance Technology Solutions LLC of Lake Orion, received awards Wednesday.

It’s all a reflection of the Blues’ commitment to Michigan, which has now stood for 73 years.

“I think it’s a real partnership that we have,” Daniel J. Loepp, the Blues’ president and CEO, told attendees at the awards program. “It is part of our fiber, part of our culture at Blue Cross to be part of the community and I am proud of that.”

Check out a slideshow from the awards program below.

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