The department vice president of risk adjustment and stars for government programs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, received the annual Dr. Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence on Wednesday, March 8 at RISE National 2023 in Colorado Springs.

Liz Haynes, department vice president of risk adjustment and stars for government programs at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BlueKC), was awarded the Dr. Martin L. Block Award for Innovation & Excellence at RISE National 2023.

The Dr. Martin L. Block Award is a prestigious accolade presented annually at RISE National that acknowledges an individual's effort to advance the lives of America's seniors through clinical leadership, policy vision, and by superior example of the RISE mission to promote continuous improvement in the health care system.

The award is named in honor of the late Dr. Martin L. Block, who passed away in October 2013 of brain cancer at the age of 62. Dr. Block was a regular speaker at RISE National and an expert in the risk adjustment industry.

RISE received 11 worthy nominations for this year’s award. After narrowing the field to three finalists, Haynes, a registered nurse and department vice president for stars and risk adjustment programs at BlueKC, was chosen for meeting the needs of the seniors in the Kansas City community and helping the health plan achieve a 4-Star rating for the last three consecutive years.

Haynes joined BlueKC in 2019 as the director of quality and stars and immediately identified opportunities to ensure the health plan took actions to meet the needs of its Medicare Advantage population as a plan and through its provider partners, according to the nomination.

In 2021, when CAHPS® increased the weight of member experience from two to four, Haynes led the organizational charge in facilitating an excellent member experience. She advocated for new programs and resources that helped to build out an infrastructure that allowed the plan to achieve outstanding results on these surveys. Members continue to provide feedback and high praise of BlueKC, the benefits they offer, the support they provide through quality and local customer service, all of which Haynes had a significant influence in developing to align with member experience, according to the nomination.

Haynes is also a true mentor to her team and peers. "She is comfortable explaining data and outcomes to all levels of leadership, from CEOs and board members to frontline staff at provider level. She continuously provides guidance on the most critical tasks and opportunities to help close the gap on patient care and clinical outcomes. Liz Haynes is a representative of strength within the Medicare Advantage community, possessing the rare knowledge cross functionally between risk adjustment, star strategies, and quality management, focusing on physician engagement and education," the nomination said.