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Anthem Blue Cross in California Provides More Members With Access to Comprehensive Transparency Tool
Date:6/3/2009

Care Comparison Tool Gives Anthem Members Complete Picture of Costs Associated with Medical Procedures

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthem Blue Cross announced today that its industry-leading transparency initiative will be available to members in the following counties in the state: Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Kern, Sacramento/Placer and Yolo counties, San Diego, Imperial County, Orange County, San Joaquin/Valley, North Coast/North state, South Bay/South Coast, San Bernardino and Riverside.

These 7.3 million new members join about 1 million members in Los Angeles and the Bay Area in having access, since the program was launched in 2008. Anthem Care Comparison is an online tool that provides information about costs of nearly 40 specific medical procedures performed at local area hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and free-standing radiology facilities. Members can also find cost and quality information on more than 160 inpatient procedures. Currently, about 15.3 million members nationwide can go online to visit the transparency tool.

"No other transparency tool in the California market today provides the depth of information on the total costs of procedures as Anthem Care Comparison," said Leslie A. Margolin, president of Anthem Blue Cross. "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 and including physician costs. These medical care cost estimates 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, an
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SOURCE Anthem Blue Cross
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