A special day — “fit” for our special seniors
Hundreds of UPMC for Life members enjoyed fitness demonstrations, organized walks, and health screenings — all part of the third annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day. UPMC for Life was the Pennsylvania state sponsor of the event for the third year in a row. Special activities were held at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium, Penn State Altoona Campus, and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Medical Fitness and Wellness Center.
UPMC for Life was the only Medicare plan in western Pennsylvania, and one of only 22 Medicare plans nationally, to be recognized for the excellence of its website — in content, connectivity, design, and privacy assurance — by HealthMetrix Research Inc.
Medicare: Healthy programs and services for seniors
UPMC for Life, our Medicare program, offers a variety of products and services, including a $0 premium plan, prescription drug benefits, and personalized customer care. Our comprehensive suite of Medicare offerings includes plans with and without prescription drug coverage that are available both to individuals and to employers that wish to offer retirement benefits.
Extraordinary membership growth
More than 14,400 new HMO and PPO members joined UPMC for Life in January 2010 — our largest ever Medicare membership increase — bringing our Medicare total to more than 73,000 members.
In addition, we retained approximately 96% of individual plan members. Our excellent growth and member retention can be credited to our outstanding service, the value we provide, and our innovative programs. As part of our service, we hold community meetings in the spring and fall for new and existing members to make sure they are aware of all the benefits and services their UPMC for Life membership includes. This helps members put a “face” on the Health Plan, and our members respond very positively to these meetings.
Outstanding personalized service
Health Care Concierges. Our Medicare members have a personal representative specifically assigned to them to welcome them to the program, inform them about any new benefits, answer their questions, and help them make decisions about coverage. Members can call their concierge anytime with questions or concerns about their benefits. Like all of the representatives in our call center, our Medicare concierges aim for “one-call resolution” of a customer’s question or concern.
Our Health Care Concierges attend UPMC for Life information seminars at neighborhood locations throughout our Medicare service area. This gives members the opportunity to meet in person the concierge they talk to on the phone. Both members and concierges have responded enthusiastically to this interaction. At the seminars, members also have the chance to meet and talk with UPMC Health Plan health coaches and pharmacists.
UPMC Resources for Life. Our Health Care Concierge services include our UPMC Resources for Life program, staffed by LifeSolutions® counseling professionals. Concierges can refer members to Resources for Life to obtain telephone counseling for caregiver support, family and marital issues, and personal concerns. Members can receive referrals to legal and financial services, wellness and health management options, and many other life and home services. Members can also visit our interactive website for information on a variety of topics and online resources and tools.
Healthy activities for seniors
Staying active is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle at any age. Our Silver&Fit® program for UPMC for Life members offers a range of health and fitness activities at no additional charge, including access to online information, membership at local fitness centers, and an at-home exercise program. We also promote healthy community activities for these members.
Improving brain fitness too
Brain health is important because it affects what matters most — quality of life, emotional health, relationships, and everyday tasks. UPMC for Life is the first health plan in this region to provide members with a brain health and fitness software program. Our Medicare members can receive this new computer program, called InSight™, at no additional cost. The InSight program, with its suite of five game-like computer exercises, engages the brain’s natural plasticity to improve visual processing, attention, memory, and quality of life measures.
Nationally recognized clinical programs
Our health management team of nurses, physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and behavioral specialists works closely with members, their families, and their physicians to deliver optimal clinical support and educational services. Clinical health coaches emphasize the importance of self-care and the physician-patient relationship and work with physicians to implement a plan of care.
In 2009, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) hired a research firm to review our chronic and complex care program for Medicare members. In its Evaluation of Care and Disease Management report, the research firm acknowledged UPMC Health Plan, along with Kaiser Permanente Southern California and Tufts, for these “best practices”:
- Effective engagement and collaboration
- Care management teams integrated with primary care practices, allowing for population-based management and continuous individual care planning at the local and team levels
- Systems support for identification of gaps and processes for closing them, focusing on individual patient care
Self-care for caregivers
In collaboration with the UPMC Institute on Aging, UPMC for Life offers “Powerful Tools for Caregivers,” a 6-week education program to help family caregivers practice self-care while managing caregiving responsibilities. More than 20 Health Plan staff members have been specially trained to be class leaders and to present the program to groups of caregivers in the communities we serve.