How HCSC turned around bad publicity on Twitter


It's every payer's nightmare.

When Blue Cross Blue Shield saw its name next to the hashtags #mistake and #swindled on Twitter, the insurer acted fast to reach out the member who voiced his frustrations in what likely is the fastest, most public way possible--Twitter.

"Anyone … out there looking at the topic of 'mistake' would see our brand used in an obviously, not very flattering way," said Lynde O'Brien, director of electronic media strategy for Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), which includes Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

The incident took place in January of last year when a member wrote that he was confused about his new Blue Cross Blue Shield Texas insurance card and couldn't afford it. Within 90 minutes, BCBSTX reached out to the member via Twitter, asking if he needed help. The member responded with a list of concerns regarding the address change line and said he was trying to find a doctor for a check-up.

"It played out very publicly because the member that was upset at us was retweeting everything we did to reach out to him," O'Brien explained on last week's Fierce webinar.