PORTLAND, Ore., Oct. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- What if you could not find the price for anything at the grocery store, even the most basic items? What if the check-out clerk offered to mail you a bill, but could not tell you what your total amount would be?
Although that sounds ridiculous, that is exactly how our nation's health care system often operates.
As the country's health care reform debate charges forward, the unsustainable rise in health care costs remains a significant issue. Understanding the cost of medical care - from a doctor's visit to a flu shot to knee surgery - is the key to controlling those costs. To illustrate the absurdity of not knowing what a procedure or office visit costs, unlike other sectors of our economy, Regence launched a video called "45 Seconds to Share," part of the company's WhatsTheRealCost.org campaign.
WhatsTheRealCost.org is a multi-faceted, online effort designed to educate consumers about the real costs of health care, and how the choices they make each day impact those costs, activating them to make more informed health care decisions.
The Favourite Website Awards, a London-based website that tracks and reports on the latest trends in Web development, recently selected Regence's WhatsTheRealCost.org as the cutting edge "Site of the Day." The site is known world-wide among for tracking the latest Web trends and interactive websites.
WhatsTheRealCost.org has many interactive components, including:
Encourages the user to continue to ask questions when interacting within the health care system. The health care "system" is played by a bureaucratic character.
Provides the real costs of common procedures, and what different areas of the health care system contribute to those costs.
Features health care "myths and facts" and the latest government updates on health care reform.
Arms consumers with just five simple questions they could ask when they are ill or are requiring treatment, and asks consumers to think about how this one action could change the health care system.
A place where participants can connect with each other through blogging and social networking, giving a voice to the movement. Features Facebook and Twitter links.
Online game where the user is a "Community Health Planner," challenged with managing the health of a community with limited resources.
For further inspiration, visit WhatsTheRealCost.org and spread the movement.
Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence serves more than 2.5 million members as Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington). Each health plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or follow us on Twitter.
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