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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado Introduces Industry Leading and Comprehensive Transparency Initiative to Colorado
Date:8/4/2008

Anthem Care Comparison Tool Gives Anthem Members in Colorado's metro markets the Complete Picture of Costs Associated with Medical Procedures

DENVER, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado announced today the launch of its industry-leading transparency initiative. Now, members in Colorado's metro markets have access to Anthem Care Comparison, an online tool that provides total estimated costs associated with all aspects of 39 specific medical procedures performed at local area hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and/or free standing radiology centers. There is also cost information associated with common office visits.

"No other transparency tool in the Colorado market today provides the depth of information on the total costs of procedures as Anthem Care Comparison," said Mike Ramseier, Vice President, Health Care Management, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. "Through this tool, our members have access to the costs associated with all aspects of a specific medical procedure -- not just the cost of the procedure itself, but also the costs of the entire spectrum of care, from lab tests to recovery room charges. These medical care cost estimates will help our members better understand the overall costs they are likely to incur before a medical service is provided."

In addition, the cost information is facility specific, so members can compare the differences in cost among hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and/or free standing imaging centers, and get information on how frequently facilities perform each procedure, which can assist the member in assessing the care they seek.

The data generated for the Anthem Care Comparison tool comes directly from claims data that have been paid out over the past 12 months and is updated quarterly. In addition, quality information, including ratings based on the number of services performed at each facility, is supplied by several company-developed programs and partnerships with leading information management companies.

"Ultimately, we want Anthem Care Comparison to create well-informed consumers of health care," said Dr. Art Jones, Anthem's Medical Director. "Creating well-informed consumers, employers, physicians and hospital providers is an important element of transparency, and an essential step in transforming the consumers' role in their own health care."

Anthem Care Comparison is a feature of the company's 360 Degree Health(R) program, the most robust benefits program in the industry to comprehensively address preventive care, health improvement and care coordination. It provides health information and counsel collected from physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to Anthem members through a single point of contact. It integrates all care management programs and tools into a centralized, consumer-friendly resource that assists members in navigating the health care system, using their health benefits and providing information to help them access comprehensive and appropriate care. 360 Degree Health helps members access a wide range of services, including online wellness and lifestyle programs, discounts on health-related products, and alternative medicine therapies. It also features 24-hour access to health care professionals who can provide our members with health information.

The Anthem Care Comparison tool will provide members with valuable cost information and increase their ability to make good, informed decisions regarding where to receive a medical service and how much it will cost. Anthem plans to continue expanding this tool throughout the entire State of Colorado.

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado:

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. (R)ANTHEM is a registered trademark of Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado is available at http://www.anthem.com .


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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado
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