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Focusing on the early detection and prevention of cancer has worked. The national mortality rates for most types of cancer have decreased tremendously, and certain cancers can be cured if detected early. Medicare, which began covering preventive services in 1981 with the pneumococcal vaccination, now covers a broad range of services to prevent disease, detect disease early when it is most treatable and curable, and manage disease so that complications can be avoided.
Some of the services include:
Each contact with a Blue Advantage member results in a discussion about screening procedure benefits. Members are asked if they are aware of the screening procedures available. Educational literature is sent to the member and on follow-up calls members are asked if they received or discussed the procedures with their physician. Care Coordinators answer questions about the services available and assist the member in understanding the purpose and process of the procedures available. Blue Advantage is encouraging members to speak with their physicians about these services during visits.