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burrell-chet0006rd-3Chet Burrell

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield

CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield continually seeks new and innovative approaches to delivering services in order to meet its mission to increase access to affordable, quality healthcare to residents in the communities it serves.

Recognizing the value in telemedicine, especially for those in rural communities or individuals who are not mobile, the healthcare entity awarded nearly $3 million in grants last year to fund initiatives at nine organizations to address needs in underserved communities in Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C.

The funding is in addition to $1.3 million in multi-year grants awarded in 2014 to improve access to behavioral health services through the CareFirst Commitment Program, a multi-pronged approach to addressing community health care needs.

Due to the success of the initial grants, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield CEO Chet Burrell and the Mission Oversight Committee of the Board of Directors decided to expand the giving into telemedicine initiatives.

One of last year’s recipients is Sheppard Pratt Health System, which is delivering a TeleCare project through Mosaic Community Services to increase access to behavioral health services and enhance care coordination for patients in central Maryland. Another is Queen Anne’s County Department of Health’s Mobile Integrated Community Telemedicine program, which allows patients with a high risk of hospital readmission to receive in-home care through emergency services personnel and a registered nurse. A video conferencing connection also is available for post-acute care.

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