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Blue Shield of California Launches Online Spanish-Language Service to Help Members Choose a Medical Provider
Date:3/24/2009

SAN FRANCISCO, March 24 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Blue Shield of California is making health care easier and more accessible for California's Spanish-speaking population by launching Busca a un Proveedor Medico, the Spanish version of its existing English Find a Provider service. The service allows all visitors - even if they're not yet Blue Shield members - to view detailed information in Spanish about doctors and hospitals to help them make more informed decisions about which provider to select.

"Choosing a doctor can be a difficult task, and it can be even more difficult when English isn't your primary language," said Juan Davila, senior vice president, network management at Blue Shield of California. "The new service makes it easier for Spanish-speaking Californians to access information about doctors, hospitals, dentists and pharmacies, and to find the best provider to serve their needs."

Visitors can access the service through Blue Shield's English Find a Provider landing page on the button labeled Busca a un Proveedor Medico or through Blue Shield's existing Spanish language website: https://www.blueshieldca.com/espanol/.

The Busca a un Proveedor Medico service includes provider directories, search functions, a hospital comparison tool, tips for choosing a provider, and third-party resources with quality rating information. Visitors can view helpful information about the physicians in Blue Shield's network, including their years in practice, languages spoken, board certifications and education.

Blue Shield members can also log in to search for providers within their plan and create side-by-side comparisons of different providers that they are considering. The service also includes Blue Shield's powerful Performance Profile tool, which provides fast online access to independent information about clinical quality scores, efficiency indicators and patient satisfaction scores for hospitals, as well as HMO medical groups and IPAs.

The new service is the latest in a long line of innovations Blue Shield of California has created for the Spanish-speaking population of the state. Other services include Spanish-speaking customer service representatives, key plan information documents in Spanish, community outreach programs, and Access Baja - Blue Shield's cross-border coverage program in Mexico.

Background on Blue Shield of California

Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan dedicated to providing Californians with access to high quality care at a reasonable price. Founded in 1939, it now has 3.3 million members, 4,700 employees, one of the largest provider networks and more than 20 office locations, providing a wide range of commercial and government products throughout the state. The company has contributed $100 million over the past three years to the Blue Shield of California Foundation to fund nonprofit organizations that improve access to quality health care in California. Contact your local agent or broker for more information about Blue Shield products and services, or visit the Blue Shield web site at www.blueshieldca.com.

    CONTACT:  Erica Perng
              Media Relations Consultant
              (415) 229-6171
              erica.perng@blueshieldca.com


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SOURCE Blue Shield of California
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