Who’s on first?

Although this is the ninth year for the Smart Business Innovation
in Business Conference presented by Anthem Blue Cross and Blue
I’d like to take the opportunity to talk about firsts. I am
pleased to be representing Anthem this year for the first time.

When I think about innovation, many things come to mind.
The first man to walk on the moon. The first airplane. The first
state to enact laws protecting working women. If you’re puzzled by my thoughts, here is the connection — these are all
Ohio firsts. We can thank people including John Glenn, Neil
Armstrong, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Annie Oakley, and
Gloria Steinem for their contributions to history and society.
And next time a light bulb comes on, remember that Thomas
Edison is yet another famous Ohioan.

At Anthem, we are proud of our innovative products and services
that help consumers navigate the health care landscape. We believe
the more information our members have about their health and
health care options, the better decisions they can make about their
overall well-being. One of the most powerful tools we offer
employees is education and an understanding of the actual costs
of health care decisions … a must in this new age of consumer-directed health care.

We are leading through innovation. Health savings accounts will
continue to be a way to keep the cost of health benefits down.
Transparency is one of Anthem’s corporate initiatives, supporting
our objective to improve health care quality and affordability. We
recently launched our first Web-based hospital cost comparison
tool, as well as ePrescribing and one of the nation’s first “individual health records.” Watch for our transparency tool coming soon
to this region.

Anthem’s commitment to this region remains strong, not only
through our business relationships but through our support of
many organizations that help make a difference in our communities, including the American Heart Association’s Physical Best
program, the American Lung Association’s “Blow the Whistle
on Asthma” and the March of Dimes.

I’d like to congratulate the honorees and recognize the
Master Innovators who graciously shared their success stories.
On behalf of Anthem, thank you for bringing innovation and
vision to this community.

FRANK BLOOMQUIST is regional vice president of Northeast Ohio for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue
Shield. Reach him at (216) 573-4412 or [email protected].