Several years ago, Brittany Fields, a customer care representative at BlueCross, was assisting a member who had a number of health issues.
This member, a retiree, had numerous claims on file because of his medical history – as well as his habit of submitting several all at once. He had mailed a large billing statement for Brittany to review and determine the specifics and accuracy behind what he was billed for.
“I said, ‘Sure, I’ll be happy to review it,’” Brittany remembers. “‘Who did you address the attention to?’”
His reply? “Just Brittany.”
A first name and a mailing address was all this member needed. That was the amount of trust he placed in her.
“I’m obviously not the only ‘Brittany’ at the company,” Brittany says with a laugh. “But I of course said, ‘OK, I will find it for you.’ So I spent three days just tracking down this billing statement, and it finally made its way to my desk. I then spent several weeks straightening out a number of claims that were the result of providers billing the member instead of filing the claim with Medicare, his primary insurer.”
Also at issue: a $13,000 balance that Brittany uncovered. For retirees on a fixed income, seeing such a large amount that they’re expected to pay can be unsettling. But Brittany called the facility and cleared up the confusion.She determined that the member didn’t owe $13,000; in fact, he didn’t owe anything on that particular bill.
This story illustrates her commitment to getting to the bottom of members’ concerns and setting their minds at ease, even when it means devoting several days or weeks to one particular member.
“When he told me that he’d been sending his billing statements to me, it made me realize how much these members depend on us,” Brittany says.
From taking calls to true calling
Brittany, who resides in LaFayette, Ga., found her way to BlueCross while considering a career in nursing. The company’s tuition reimbursement program appealed to her, and working as a customer care representative gave her the opportunity to interact with people who were in need of health care assistance.
She graduated from Bryan College in May 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in health care, and she will celebrate her five-year anniversary with BlueCross in May. Late last year, she earned a promotion on the customer care team. She still occasionally interacts with members over the phone when they require clarification, but she primarily advocates on their behalf as an associate working on cases in areas such as:
- Quality of care
- Coverage reinstatement
- Open enrollment
- Claims processing
“When members are dealing with health issues or are just trying to improve their health, an unpaid claim issue is the last thing that they need to worry about,” Brittany says. “That’s what I’m here to use my knowledge and experience to do. As a customer service representative, I could do that on the front end; as an associate, I get to do it on the back end.”
‘Right Here’ on the small screen
Brittany’s knowledge, experience and comfort with speaking to members in need led to her appearance in one of our three “Right Here” advertising campaign commercials. The ads feature real Tennesseans uttering a variation of the phrase “I’m right here” and highlight our commitment to members to be here when they need us.
Despite a lack of acting or on-camera experience, Brittany auditioned for a speaking role after encouragement from her manager at the time.
“Brittany’s outgoing personality and kind spirit are infectious,” says Erin Thomas, customer care supervisor at BlueCross. “She approaches customer service with a caring, listening ear and persistence to resolve our members’ concerns. Her natural warmth was perfect to convey our message of BlueCross being of, for and by Tennessee.”
Brittany admits that prior to her audition, she didn’t know what the commercial was about – or even that the company was filming one. However, that uncertainty gave way to excitement.
“I always jump on any opportunity that comes my way,” she says, “especially if it’s going to help me build my skill set or provide a new experience.”
“And it seemed like a fun opportunity, so win-win.”
Brittany nabbed one of three speaking roles for actual BlueCross customer representatives. Filming took place quickly in the BlueCross Chattanooga offices on a weekday morning in August, with a “call center” set built in a hallway.
“They couldn’t film us at our actual desks, as that would have disrupted the customer service team and calls that were actually taking place,” Brittany says. “We were all filmed taking a mock call to kind of put us in our comfort zone, then given a few lines by the directors to try out.”
All told, the production team only needed Brittany on set for an hour or so. Her line that made the final cut? “And if you need anything else, we’ll be right here.”
Brittany’s parents saw the commercial on TV before she did.
“I was on the phone with my mom one morning several weeks back, and all of a sudden Dad’s hollering at her in the background,” Brittany remembers. “I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’ And she says, ‘It’s you on TV!’ It was a little crazy.
“I’m so happy to have done it, but seeing it was like hearing yourself on the phone … a little awkward,” she admits with a laugh.
New case, different field
With a new role at BlueCross and a budding acting career (“Maybe not on that one,” she says), Brittany also experienced another life change late last year when she exchanged vows with her fiancé, Addison.
When they’re not hiking or just spending time outdoors with their dog, Bear (“He’s a mutt, but he is precious and perfect”), they’re focusing on another shared interest: real estate investment.
“Addison bought a house right after we met in 2012, and we remodeled it and rented it,” Brittany says. “The renters recently moved out, so we remodeled it and rented it again. We’ve remodeled our own home, as well. We recently purchased a house to flip, and we are in the process of closing on three more rentals. We enjoy working together, so we’re looking for more properties to flip.”
In other words, her detective work continues.