GuideWell Helps Launch $5 Million XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing Competition to Accelerate Safe Reopen and Return to Workplace and School

-Competition gives global community opportunity to develop frequent, fast-turnaround, inexpensive, and easy-to-use screening tests to identify COVID-19 cases before they lead to outbreaks-

GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care, in collaboration with XPRIZE, OpenCovidScreen, Anthem, Inc. and other Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan partners, as well as other innovative organizations announced the $5 million XPRIZE Rapid Covid Testing competition to accelerate the development of high-quality COVID-19 testing that is low cost, easy to use, and quick-reporting, paving the way for more frequent testing.

Meet Nellie Coronel, a Bilingual Member Care Specialist

Trying to navigate the complexities of the health care system can be challenging for anyone. But when English is not your native language, trying to find answers to your health insurance questions can be even more difficult.

Nellie Coronel understands this firsthand. Her parents are from Ecuador and sometimes lean on her bilingual skills to help interpret their health-related questions.

“I see them struggle with the language barrier and it can be frustrating for them.”

Helping her own parents is part of what inspired Nellie to become a Bilingual Member Care Specialist at Florida Blue. In her role, she assists members with their billing questions, helps them find in-network providers and directs them where they can go for medical care and lab work.

“I enjoy the fact that I can help them with their claim information or with pharmacy issues and just make their life a little bit easier,” she said.

How a Member Care Specialist Helped a Woman Begin her Breast Cancer Journey

Confused, lost and frightened. That’s how Sckary Hurtado describes a health insurance member who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

One of the woman’s first phone calls following her diagnosis was to her health insurer. Although she had health insurance---she didn’t speak English and wasn’t sure how to navigate the health care system.

Sckary, a member care specialist, was the caring voice on the other end of the line. When the member broke down, Sckary got emotional too. Her role was to help guide this member on her health care journey and that’s just what she did. She provided the member with a list of in-network oncologists, explained how her providers would need to obtain authorizations and let her know who to contact to make sure her prescriptions would be covered.

When the call was over, the member was grateful for the help and better prepared to begin her breast cancer journey.

Nurse’s Quick Thinking Saves Member in Crisis

Author: Sonya Ferris, Enterprise Communications

It was 10:00am on a Monday when Kida Tisdale, RN Case Manager, called to check on her patient Byron*. The 43-year-old man from Jacksonville was struggling with some serious health challenges. Not only was he diabetic, but he had also been hospitalized twice in recent weeks for other issues and was recovering from major surgery.

In her role as a nurse with our health insurer's Place of Delivery care model (PODs), Kida often cares for high-risk patients. The PODs coordinate care for members with chronic conditions, improving the quality and cost of their care. The collaborative approach leverages a team of nurse case managers, pharmacists, social workers, nutritionists, and a population care manager.

In the short time she’d been working with Byron, Kida had been helping him learn to control his blood sugar. She also regularly spoke with Byron’s mother, Jackie, who was his caregiver.

Video Message: Renewing our Commitment to Slowing the Spread

Pat Geraghty

Today it is very clear that COVID-19 is not easing up. In fact, in Florida – we’re hitting new COVID-19 records almost daily. The number of new cases is climbing. And hospitalization rates are also on an upward trend.

It is imperative to urge one another, our families and our neighbors to renew our commitment to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

Each of us need to do the right thing for ourselves and one another to avoid our community experiencing an even more severe impact.

The most effective way to prevent the spread of the virus is to avoid being exposed in the first place. There are four proven, simple steps we can take to reduce the risk of transmission.

1: Wear a mask.

2: Practice social distancing.

CEO Video Message: Pat Geraghty Announces New Health Insurance Solution - Truli for Health

Full Transcript:

Hello, everyone. It's no secret that 2020 is a challenging year in so many ways and for so many people.

Economically, it's been particularly hard on small businesses.

Long before the coronavirus forced businesses across the country to close, we were working to create a new product to help small businesses address affordability.

Nearly 60% of small businesses in Florida don't offer health insurance to their employees, often due to cost.

To answer their need for an affordable, innovative solution, we created Truli for Health, the newest affiliate of Florida Blue.

Truli is our health maintenance organization for HMO designed for small and mid-size employers that officially goes live July 1st.

GuideWell Appoints Mark McConnell to Lead Consumer Engagement Business

GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care, has appointed Mark McConnell, president and CEO of Onlife Health, CEO for GuideWell’s portfolio of consumer-engagement businesses, including GuideWell Connect, Onlife Health and PopHealthCare.

McConnell has over 30 years of health care industry experience leading employee health initiatives, building mobile and digital assets for remote monitoring, and integrating numerous consumer tools, focused on health, wellness and disease-management.

In this new role, McConnell will identify innovative ways to leverage product and infrastructure integration, while creating opportunities to engage with members to improve overall health outcomes.

Providing Child Care Relief to Essential Workers During COVID-19

I want to take the opportunity this week to highlight another great example of the work we're doing to support our communities.

In response to COVID-19,we provided grant funding to organizations across Florida, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.

Our support the last few months has enabled several regional YMCA locations to repurpose closed facilities to offer emergency childcare at reduced or no cost for first responders and front line healthcare workers.This alleviated a huge burden for those selflessly serving on the pandemic's front line.

We're honored to have helped provide them with a safe and supportive location for their children while they were fulfilling critical work to keep our communities healthy.

GuideWell Emergency Doctors Reminds People It’s Safe to Seek Care

Because of fears of contracting COVID-19, health care professionals say people throughout the country are afraid to go to emergency rooms and urgent care centers.

Now, health care providers are sounding the alarm.

Bethany Carlson, RN, who is a nurse manager at the GuideWell Emergency Doctors in Winter Park, says delaying care can be dangerous---even life threatening. She wants to urge the public not to put off seeking necessary or emergency care for themselves or their loved ones.

“A lot of the times they’re ignoring them (symptoms) a lot longer than they should so by the time they come to us they’re sicker than they needed to be just because they’re afraid.”

Dr. Christopher Hamann, MD, a Board-Certified Emergency Medicine physician, says ignoring symptoms is risky. He says someone who experiences a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or chest pain but ignores symptoms could end up having a stroke or heart attack.

Full Transcript: Pat Geraghty Coronavirus Message May 15, 2020

While many of our local economies are beginning to take slow steps to reopen, we know for sure the implications for the coronavirus pandemic will be long lasting.

Caring for our members, customers, partners, and employees, as this situation evolves will require a long term, sustainable response.

We are uniquely positioned as a mission-driven health solutions enterprise, to respond to this pandemic in meaningful ways.

Our holistic approach to health care is what sets us apart. Our work goes far beyond providing quality health insurance, and the compassion we're demonstrating during these unprecedented times is reflected in our response efforts across our family of companies.