Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado Introduces Industry Leading and Comprehensive Transparency Initiative to Colorado

2008-08-04 14:22:00

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado Introduces Industry Leading and Comprehensive Transparency Initiative to Colorado

    Anthem Care Comparison Tool Gives Anthem Members in Colorado's metro

  markets the Complete Picture of Costs Associated with Medical Procedures



    DENVER, Aug. 4 /EMWNews/ -- Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in

Colorado announced today the launch of its industry-leading transparency

initiative. Now, members in Colorado's metro markets have access to Anthem

Care Comparison, an online tool that provides total estimated costs

associated with all aspects of 39 specific medical procedures performed at

local area hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and/or free standing

radiology centers. There is also cost information associated with common

office visits.



    "No other transparency tool in the Colorado market today provides the

depth of information on the total costs of procedures as Anthem Care

Comparison," said Mike Ramseier, Vice President, Health Care Management,

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado. "Through this tool, our

members have access to the costs associated with all aspects of a specific

medical procedure -- not just the cost of the procedure itself, but also

the costs of the entire spectrum of care, from lab tests to recovery room

charges. These medical care cost estimates will help our members better

understand the overall costs they are likely to incur before a medical

service is provided."



    In addition, the cost information is facility specific, so members can

compare the differences in cost among hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers

and/or free standing imaging centers, and get information on how frequently

facilities perform each procedure, which can assist the member in assessing

the care they seek.



    The data generated for the Anthem Care Comparison tool comes directly

from claims data that have been paid out over the past 12 months and is

updated quarterly. In addition, quality information, including ratings

based on the number of services performed at each facility, is supplied by

several company-developed programs and partnerships with leading

information management companies.



    "Ultimately, we want Anthem Care Comparison to create well-informed

consumers of health care," said Dr. Art Jones, Anthem's Medical Director.

"Creating well-informed consumers, employers, physicians and hospital

providers is an important element of transparency, and an essential step in

transforming the consumers' role in their own health care."



    Anthem Care Comparison is a feature of the company's 360 Degree

Health(R) program, the most robust benefits program in the industry to

comprehensively address preventive care, health improvement and care

coordination. It provides health information and counsel collected from

physicians, nurses, and other health care professionals to Anthem members

through a single point of contact. It integrates all care management

programs and tools into a centralized, consumer-friendly resource that

assists members in navigating the health care system, using their health

benefits and providing information to help them access comprehensive and

appropriate care. 360 Degree Health helps members access a wide range of

services, including online wellness and lifestyle programs, discounts on

health-related products, and alternative medicine therapies. It also

features 24-hour access to health care professionals who can provide our

members with health information.



    The Anthem Care Comparison tool will provide members with valuable cost

information and increase their ability to make good, informed decisions

regarding where to receive a medical service and how much it will cost.

Anthem plans to continue expanding this tool throughout the entire State of

Colorado.



    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado:



    Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the trade name of Rocky Mountain

Hospital and Medical Service, Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue

Cross Blue Shield Association. (R)ANTHEM is a registered trademark of

Anthem Insurance Companies, Inc. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and

symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Additional information about Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Colorado

is available at http://www.anthem.com .





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