Talking With Melissa Griffin of Blue Cross Blue Shield

Movement 2023: On Air

Published Date: Jul 26, 2023

Melissa Griffin, senior client consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield, Texas, advises clients across various industries, from oil and gas to education.

A common issue for all of them—musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions.

Griffin sat down with Hinge Health Director of Content Marketing Jenny Sucov at the Movement 2023 conference in Chicago to share more about top-of-mind benefits concerns and challenges.

Jenny Sucov (JS): What brought you to Movement 2023 and what are some things that stuck out to you today?

Melissa Griffin (MG): I began diving deep into Hinge Health and learned a lot about the company and what you can actually do to help members in need. I wanted to get a better idea of what our vendors do.

For me, the member stories were a highlight. Hearing the struggles they had and what they had to go through to speak to us today—it was a tearjerker.

JS: What are some of the biggest struggles your clients are facing?

MG: With any program we introduce, engagement is always an issue. I have some clients who don't care what the cost is as long as their clients are using it and it's working for them.

JS: How do you help clients with their cost concerns?

MG: I do a utilization report and go over how much they have been spending year over year over year without solutions in place. Then I'm able to give them a comparison after a solution is in place.

For example, we implemented Hinge Health in January 2022 for a manufacturing client. I showed them that while MSK has been an issue for them for the last five years, and continues to be an issue this year, it [related claims] has gone down 64% year over year.

They have 98 participants and a high engagement level. Surgeries went down 38%. They had 0 knee and hip surgeries, and only 1 spine surgery.

JS: How different are the populations in the different sectors you work with?

MG: I work with manufacturing, oil and gas, technology, school districts—a gamut of benchmarks.

As far as diagnostics categories this year, every single client has neoplasms, MSK [conditions], and health status issues across the board. It doesn't matter the industry—it's always there.

Now, how they implement and what they are willing to do to change it is the difference.

JS: What are you seeing in terms of how clients implement health solutions?

MG: Because of the way some of these industries work, an MSK solution has to be something that is accessible after hours.

So, digital partners work best for them.

JS: What is a concern that's on your mind these days?

MG: Access is the issue for everyone. That and the time and effort of engagement.

We always struggle trying to help bridge the gap, letting them know what's available, that they can do things on their own, etc.

We remind people that as long as they have a smartphone, they are eligible for the [Hinge Health] program with no issues. We need to demonstrate what's available and how it works.

JS: Is that access issue the same for non-MSK conditions?

MG: It's the same for all conditions. Some parents are working two jobs. They have kids to take care of. They don't have the time or effort to go and drive for physical therapy, for example.

Being able to do something in a digital market on their own, in their free time is the best benefit we can provide them.

JS: What are some of the main things you are taking away from Movement 2023 today?

MG: I was so glad to hear from actual participants. A member story is the best marketing tool ever. It's better than ROI.

I also wanted to see the new developments. Testing out some of the equipment was great, because it's helpful when I'm in a meeting.

Instead of saying 'I can't help you do this,' I can say, 'I've tried this, this is how it works.'

These responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

See what 10,000 Americans in pain have to say about MSK care