2022 Annual Report

Your partner for peace of mind

Emily Reynolds, Chairman of the Board and JD Hickey, President & CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

JD Hickey
President & CEO
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Emily Reynolds
Chairman of the Board

Better health here in Tennessee, now and beyond

In 2022, all our efforts were driven by an accelerated focus on making health care more affordable for our members. That focus naturally led us to innovative efforts to improve access to care and address health inequities for all Tennesseans.

These are not new concepts for us. They’ve long been fundamental to our mission of helping our members achieve peace of mind through better health. Here are some of our 2022 highlights:

  • Our BlueAdvantage PPO plan earned a 5-star quality rating, the highest possible, from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. This rating is evidence of our dedication to provider collaboration, communication, and ensuring our member outreach is as clear, supportive and individualized as possible.
  • With the release of our first Health Equity Report, we dug into health disparities across Tennessee and are using the data to inform ways to improve care delivery and outcomes.
  • We’ve invested in higher education for Tennessee high school graduates interested in technology with the launch of BlueSky Tennessee Institute — a workforce development venture between BlueCross and East Tennessee State University that offers qualifying students the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in computing and a job offer in just over two years.
  • Last year alone we either broke ground on or fully opened BlueCross Healthy Places in nine cities across the state. These community spaces provide our neighbors with opportunities for healthy activity and connectivity, and we’re on track to invest more than $100 million into this reflection of our mission.
  • The Blue of Tennessee medical centers are community-focused and offer primary care and operating hours convenient to our members’ schedules.

These are just a few examples of where 2022 has led us, and how we’ll continue living our mission on behalf of our members. We thank you for reading our annual report. Throughout you will see how we strive to be your partner for peace of mind through our people and our purpose.

Enhancing personalized, convenient care at lower costs

Play Video about Why Blue of Tennessee is ‘a step beyond’ with Sanitas medical director Joel Fine, MD
Blue of Tennessee

For many of our members, having access to convenient, affordable, community-based health care has never been more important. Our ‘full-stop shops’ offer primary care from providers with operating hours that fit with our members’ busy schedules.


Blue of Tennessee medical centers currently open in middle and west Tennessee

1 K

Patient visits managed by Sanitas from January 2022 to January 2023


This proactive and personalized advocacy program delivers a better member experience and more savings for our group customers with 500+ subscribers. Members work with health advisors on complex and high-cost care situations, as well as help with everyday health needs.

Play Video about AmplifyHealth
Man on telehealth call asking about medication

Lower rates

The cost of care directly impacts what we charge members for coverage. As a not-for-profit health plan, we’ve renegotiated with providers to keep them in our networks and passed all savings to our members and employer customers in the form of lower premiums.


We’ve expanded our coverage of and support for telehealth. This virtual visitation option also offers increased flexibility for scheduling your appointments and eliminates barriers like transportation and travel expenses.

Woman standing on porch beneath American flag

Investigation of the Year

Our Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is committed to rooting out fraud, waste and abuse on behalf of our members. That team’s efforts to help thwart a pain-cream scam led them to be recognized by the National Health Care Anti-Fraud Association in 2022.

1 +

Active investigations pursued by the BlueCross SIU at any given time

$ 1 M

Amount in damages awarded to BlueCross after a hospital improperly billed 6,000 claims for laboratory services. These damages went toward cost savings for members.

Ensuring superior member service

Medicare Advantage 5‑star rating

Medicare plans are evaluated annually based on a 5-star rating system, and our BlueAdvantage PPO plan earned the highest possible rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) for 2023. This year’s achievement represents the second score increase in two years and makes BlueCross the only 5-star PPO plan headquartered in Tennessee.

CMS rated 5-star medicare advantage plan
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Performance and quality measures that Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage are evaluated against by the CMS

Echo Innovation Alliance

We’re always looking to make health care simpler, more affordable and more convenient. This partnership allows us to invest in companies that support and nationally scale innovative technologies in health care to lower costs and improve accessibility.

Through the Echo partnership we continue to:

  • Deliver an exceptional member experience
  • Lower the total cost of care
  • Improve health outcomes
Play Video about BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee joins Echo Innovation Alliance
FEP award 2022

FEP Service Excellence award

Our Federal Employee Program (FEP) team was recognized with the Plan Excellence Award from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association at last year’s FEP National Conference. FEP contracts with the U.S. government to offer health insurance to federal employees, retirees and dependents. Only five plans achieved this top recognition.

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BlueCross employees who comprise the FEP team

1 K

Covered federally employed members

CMS rated 4-star dual special needs plan (DNSP)
NCQA rated 3.5 BlueCare
NCQA rated 4 Commercial

More clinical accreditations

Our medical teams continue to meet the high standards necessary to work with providers and make coverage decisions that ensure our members’ peace of mind. In addition to our Medicare 5-star rating, in 2022 our teams earned these accreditations:

  • Commercial PPO — second consecutive 4-star rating from the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA)
  • BlueCare Tennessee — second consecutive 3.5-star rating from NCQA
  • Dual Special Needs Plan — second consecutive 4-star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Health insurance card

Best practices for cost-effective care

Health plans like BlueCross may require prior authorizations before members receive a procedure or fill a prescription for the plan to cover it. Often there are different treatment options for similar conditions, all with varying prices and effectiveness. Because we serve 3.4 million members, BlueCross medical experts have big-picture visibility into evidence for the most cost-effective treatments.

Ashley Gibson

“I try to relate to a member’s situation. I think of how I’d respond if it were my family.”

— Ashley Gibson, digital service chat specialist whose service led to a high NPS survey rating

Net Promoter Score

We’ve maintained high Net Promoter Scores (NPS) in the three years since we implemented the program — and through the pandemic. Our teams use feedback from NPS to drive improvements in member experience, continually focusing on their experience to build member loyalty.

Building on our commitment to health equity

Health Equity Report

Health equity is one of our values — and to address it, we compiled data from BlueCross claims for our first Health Equity Report. The report identifies the social vulnerabilities and factors we see across Black, White, Asian, Indigenous and Hispanic populations statewide that contribute to health disparities.

Our Health Equity Report measures fall under four broad categories:

  • maternal health
  • child and adolescent well-care
  • cancer screening
  • chronic condition management
Play Video about Health Equity

Top health metrics tracked in the report compiled from BlueCross claims

Play Video about Diversity and Inclusion

Our inclusive work culture

We’ve made a long-term commitment to creating a culturally competent workplace where everyone is valued, respected, trusted, communicated with and part of the team. Being intentionally inclusive is the right way to do business for our members. And it gives us a competitive advantage by purposefully creating a workforce that’s a reflection of the individuals we serve.

Hamilton County students

Project SEARCH

One meaningful way we encourage growth and development is through our support of Project SEARCH. The program gives high-functioning young adults with intellectual or learning disabilities the opportunity to earn immersive workforce experience and develop skills to seek competitive employment.


Hamilton County students

Took part in BlueCross internships on site at the company’s Chattanooga headquarters through Project SEARCH during the 2021-2022 school year.

Responding to the needs of our employees

Going remote-first

We can only serve our members well when we serve our employees well. Recognizing the needs and preferences of our employees, we transitioned to our remote-first work model, giving our people the choice of working from their homes full-time and long-term and the resources to do so.

1 %

of BlueCross employees are now remote workers

A group of employees conversing

Strengthening employee connectivity

Even with the majority of our employees working effectively from their homes, our offices had to be places our employees looked forward to visiting. With that in mind we created Common Spaces that can be used for team meetings, brainstorming sessions, relaxing and focusing. Our monthly Welcome Wednesday lunches provide complimentary meals for employees, as well as crucial face-to-face time to reconnect.

Maintaining an award-winning workplace

In 2022, we earned repeated recognition from Forbes:

  • Tennessee’s top employers
  • Best employers for women
  • Best employers for diversity

We also recently ranked no. 4 on Forbes’ annual list of America’s 500 best large employers, the highest showing of any Blue plan. In addition, “Modern Healthcare” recognized us as one of their 2022 Best Places to Work, and we were ranked no. 3 on Tennessee’s Healthiest Employers list in the 5,000 to 9,999 employee category.

Man on a remote call with coworkers

Investing in our communities’ well‑being

BlueCross Healthy Place logo

One way we live our mission and honor our not-for-profit status is by providing opportunities for healthy activities. These help our neighbors strengthen bonds that form the backbone of our communities. In 2022 we celebrated Healthy Place openings and groundbreakings in Alamo, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Lawrenceburg, Memphis, Middleton, Nashville, Red Boiling Springs and Shelbyville.

Map of Tennessee showing newly opened BlueCross Healthy Place locations
$ 1 M

invested to date in 20 projects across the state

BCBST Community Trust

Through our Trust, we support local charities and civic groups that serve our neighbors. Our funding supports charitable clinics, youth development, disease-specific research and advocacy within the state of Tennessee.

$ 1 K

given to 127 local organizations

Two women smiling, one wearing a TeamBlue shirt


Our employees are committed to giving back. After all, our communities are a reflection of who we are and who we serve. Employees gave time to both virtual and in-person volunteer opportunities and contributed to organizations that matter to them.

In 2022 our TeamBlue employees were active in:

  • Chattanooga
  • Jackson
  • Knoxville
  • Memphis
  • Nashville
  • Tri-Cities
1 +

Hours volunteered by BlueCross employees


Organizations that benefitted from TeamBlue time and talent

Supporting the next generation of health care professionals and technology experts

Power of We diversity scholarships

Every year, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation recognizes and financially supports outstanding minority students pursuing health care careers. In 2022, the BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Foundation selected six students from around the state as recipients of its BlueCross Power of We Scholarships.

Play Video about Meet the 2022 BlueCross Power of We Scholars
$ 1 K

Combined amount of scholarships awarded to our six recipients in 2022

BlueSky Tennessee Institute

BlueSky Institute is designed to foster locally the advanced technology talent BlueCross needs to serve customers, communities and business partners. The workforce development venture between BlueCross and East Tennessee State University offers students with a passion for technology the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree in computing and a job offer in just over two years.

BlueSky and East Tennessee State University
Play Video about BlueSky Institute Signing Day

Students in our first BlueSky Tennessee cohort

A group of interns

BlueCross internships

For many college students, seeking internships can be stressful. They’re juggling classes and may already be working part-time jobs. With graduation looming, it’s important to find an internship that’ll help them chart a career course. At BlueCross, our goal is to attract qualified candidates who represent the next generation of thought leaders.


Approximate number of interns we hire per year in areas of technology, business and finance, communications, medical services, and more.