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Blue Cross Puts New Online Shopping Tool in Hands of Consumers
Date:3/16/2009

Care Comparison reveals price, value of common elective medical procedures

EAGAN, Minn., March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumers can now easily find accurate health care cost and quality information through Care Comparison(R), a new online tool introduced today by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota. Care Comparison allows nearly two million Blue Cross members in Minnesota to evaluate total treatment costs as well as quality, safety and accessibility information for dozens of common elective procedures at facilities throughout the country. Blue Cross members can search online for the most costly and common procedures -- such as joint replacements, tonsillectomies or MRIs -- and make informed health care decisions for themselves and family members. Five Blue Cross companies have collaborated to make this tool available to 22 million members throughout the country.

Until now it has been difficult to find useful health care cost and quality information in one tool because it's very difficult to gather and display this type of health care information. "Increasingly consumers are being called on to spend more of their own out-of-pocket money for health care, so knowing what they are getting for their dollar is critical to their decision making," said Richard Neuner, chief marketing officer, Blue Cross. "We want members to be able to make more informed choices about their health and health care spending. Members increasingly have more of their own money at stake and therefore we have provided an easy way to make health care comparisons so they get their money's worth."

Care Comparison takes unique "packaged" events of care and provides data on all related services and not just the cost of the procedure itself. For example, a package of care for surgery could include charges for the surgeon's services, lab work performed, anesthesia and use of the facility. All Care Comparison results are based on actua
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
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