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BCBSA: Time Is Right for Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute
Date:8/1/2008

Blues support new legislation that builds on healthcare reform proposal

WASHINGTON, Aug. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the legislation introduced today by Senators Max Baucus (D-MT) and Kent Conrad (D-ND), Scott P. Serota, president and chief executive officer of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), issued the following statement:

"I commend Senators Baucus and Conrad for introducing legislation that would create a Healthcare Comparative Effectiveness Research Institute funded through a broad-based assessment on public and private healthcare coverage. The Blues have long advocated for such an entity and this legislation is an important and necessary first step towards creating a knowledge-based healthcare system where treatment decisions are based on sound clinical data.

"To improve tomorrow's healthcare coverage we need to change the incentives in today's healthcare system. Comparative effectiveness research will empower patients and providers by providing information on quality and value, and improve safety and affordability of healthcare for everyone.

"America is often described as providing the 'best healthcare in the world.' However, experts tell us that as much as 30 cents of every healthcare dollar pays for care which is ineffective, inappropriate or redundant. In fact, research shows only about half of treatments for chronic care conform to medical literature. There is simply not enough information on what medical treatments work best.

"The need to know what works and put it into practice is one of the key strategies the Blues have put forth as part of our five-part proposal, 'The Pathway to Covering America,' that seeks to reduce the number of uninsured Americans and transform our healthcare system. By promoting comparative effectiveness research - not just in America, but worldwide - we can improve quality, value and expand coverage for all.

"Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies look forward to working with Senators Baucus and Conrad, Congress, the administration, and other stakeholders to make comparative effectiveness research institute a reality."

More information about "The Pathway to Covering America" can be found on the BCBSA Web site at: http://www.bcbs.com/issues/uninsured/pathway-to-covering-america/.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 39 independent, community-based and locally operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 102 million individuals - nearly one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit http://www.BCBS.com.


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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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