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Regence Members in Oregon Can Now Access Provider Cost Information
Date:6/26/2009

Health insurer enhances Treatment Cost Estimator tool allowing members to forecast out-of-pocket costs for select provider services

PORTLAND, Ore., June 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Knowing and understanding the cost of a medical procedure before it takes place helps people to be more than health care users - it helps them become informed health care consumers, according to Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon.

The company has unveiled an enhancement to its Treatment Cost Estimator tool on its interactive Web site - myRegence.com - which provides out-of-pocket costs on common procedures and services for Oregon-based Regence members. It also allows those members to compare those costs between different health care providers.

The original Treatment Cost Estimator was geared toward selected services and procedures, and out-of-pocket costs were available to only a small percentage of Regence members. The enhancement allows all Oregon-based Regence members (excluding Regence MedAdvantage and Clark County, Wash.,-based members) to find out their out-of-pocket costs in a real-time Web-based platform.

"The lack of accurate, comparable information about the cost of medical care is one of the primary drivers of system inefficiency and questions about value," said Ralph Prows, M.D., senior medical director at Regence. "Without it, patients and their physicians are left ill-informed about the cost impacts of their health care decisions, some of which may be borne by the patients themselves."

Common treatments and services included in the enhancement include:

  • Immunizations
  • Vaginal delivery with no complications
  • Digestive system endoscopy
  • Diagnostic radiology and imaging
  • Orthopedic-musculoskeletal surgery
  • Diagnostic pathology and laboratory procedures

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SOURCE Regence
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