BlueChoice HealthPlan Manager Named S.C. Respiratory Care Practitioner of the Year

September 19, 2007

COLUMBIA, SC – September 19, 2007 – The South Carolina Society for Respiratory Care recently named Jakki Grimball of BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina as Respiratory Care Practitioner of the Year.

Grimball has served as manager of BlueChoice HealthPlan’s asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) program for more than seven years. A registered respiratory therapist, she became the first to be certified as an asthma educator in South Carolina in 2003 and is still one of a handful of professionals holding that distinction. She has served on boards of all the major respiratory therapy organizations in the state and assists with many community outreach projects related to asthma.

Started in 1994, BlueChoice HealthPlan’s asthma and COPD program’s goal is to improve quality of life while promoting a reduction in hospital visits and an increase in the use of proper medication. The company had 6,277 members enrolled in the program last year. BlueChoice HealthPlan provides them with services ranging from educational newsletters to telephone consultations or home visits as well as contact with their primary care doctor.

A member satisfaction survey for 2006 showed that the majority felt they were managing their disease better and had improved quality of life as a result.
Outcomes showed a reduction of emergency room visits, hospital admissions and rescue medication use, and an increase in maintenance medication use compared with 2005. The program is part of BlueChoice HealthPlanƒs series of Great Expectations for Health® programs serving members with high-risk conditions or chronic disease.

Grimball received her award at the society’s annual meeting, held September 5-7 in Myrtle Beach.

Headquartered in Columbia, S.C., BlueChoice HealthPlan of South Carolina ( <>) is a wholly owned subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, and both are independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BlueChoice HealthPlan has an A+ rating from A.M. Best and an Excellent accreditation status, the highest level awarded, from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). BlueChoice HealthPlan has more than 7,000 physicians in its statewide network and serves approximately 205,000 members statewide. It offers four group health plans and one individual plan for children.

Great Expectations for Health is a registered mark of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.