Thursday, May 30, 2019 - 10:36

On May 21, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) announced the launch of a new pilot program, created in collaboration with the YMCA of the Triangle, the NC Alliance of YMCAs and the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation. The pilot program will provide qualifying Triangle-area Blue Cross NC members with Medical Memberships, a first-of-its kind community integrated health collaboration.

Thanks to this collaboration, our YMCA will play a critical role in transforming health care in our community. The three-year $1.5 million investment in the pilot program will provide eligible members with a bundle of services that includes:

  • Subsidized YMCA Medical Membership that provides access to state-of-the-art fitness equipment and group exercise in all YMCA locations in the Triangle (Wake, Durham, Chatham, Orange, Lee and Johnson counties) for Blue Cross NC group and individual lines of business. Blue Cross NC will pay a portion of an individual’s membership, and the YMCA will waive joining fees for participants in the pilot program. Medical members will pay a $25 co-pay each month during the length of their evidence-based program.
  • Coordination with members’ care teams through qualified YMCA staff members who will help patients reach their health and wellness goals and communicate progress with their physicians.
  • Access to YMCA evidence-based programs that address a member’s specific needs. Available programs include:
    • Moving for Better Balance
    • Diabetes Prevention Program
    • Healthy Weight and Your Child
    • LIVESTRONG at the Y
    • Weight Management Program
    • Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring

Medical Memberships will be prescribed to patients who have an identified health risk or clinical diagnosis, such as pre-diabetes, hypertension, adult and child weight management needs, cancer or the risk of falls due to age or illness. A long-term strategy for partnership is to offer YMCA Medical Memberships across the state.

The YMCA will begin taking referrals immediately with programs starting in the fall. To learn more about medical memberships, visit ymcatriangle.org/medical-memberships.

“As a practicing physician, I know how critical comprehensive, integrated care is to a patient’s overall health,” said Patrick Conway, MD, President and CEO of Blue Cross NC. “This pilot program is an important step toward transforming health care in our state, lowering costs, and providing our members with proven, effective programs to improve their health.”