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

l Blue Cross member claims. "Because these costs are based on recent claims data, members can be confident in estimating their share of the out-of-pocket costs before having the procedure done," stated Neuner.

The tool provides a range of costs for more than 30 medical procedures performed at hospitals, outpatient surgery centers and radiological facilities in 17 states. In addition to providing costs, Care Compare offers nationwide quality information for an additional 150 procedures. In addition to providing costs, Care Comparison offers nationwide quality information for an additional 150 procedures.

Care Comparison allows consumers to compare up to 10 facilities at a time -- on either cost or quality -- for inpatient procedures. And for outpatient procedures, the tool lists up to 100 different facilities.

The tool provides customized reports using factors that a consumer indicates are important to them, such as patient satisfaction, length of stay, complication rates, number of patients treated, and safety and mortality rates. Consumers can then determine what facility best meets their needs for elective, non-emergency procedures. For example, if someone plans on having knee replacement surgery, Care Comparison would be able to find a price range for the entire procedure as well as estimate their out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, Care Comparison could determine which facility has completed the most surgeries, specify the number of patients with complications and list how previous patients ranked the facility.

"Care Comparison addresses a consumer need to make health care spending decisions based not on cost alone, but on overall value -- cost, quality, safety, convenience and the entire experience," added Neuner. "This is a big step forward in health care transparency. Because the information will be so broadly available, we think providers will ultimately be encouraged to strive f
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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