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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: May 19, 2009
WellPoint Announces Collaborative Partnership To Expand Access

WellPoint Inc. said it plans to collaboratively partner with four Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans across the country to provide access to online, consumer-friendly healthcare cost information.

The health plans participating with WellPoint in this initiative are Highmark Inc. (Pennsylvania), Premera Blue Cross (Washington), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

Through the partnership, these Blue plans will provide the total estimated cost ranges associated with 39 specific medical procedures performed at a local hospital, outpatient surgery center, free-standing radiology facility or other medical facility, WellPoint said.

Ranges of healthcare cost information will initially be rolled out on a limited basis in each of these states. The estimated cost ranges provided through this partnership are based on combining related services typically performed at each facility at the time of the procedure, not just the procedure itself. In addition, the cost ranges are facility-specific so members can compare the differences in cost between area facilities, according to WellPoint.

The cost range information is based directly on each Blue plans’ claims paid data over the past 12 months, providing consumers with access to more accurate and timely information about the cost associated with each of the 39 procedures. The data will be updated every six months, WellPoint said.

The company said the partnership is part of a transparency strategy that enables WellPoint’s affiliated health plans and other Blue plans to build on their collaborative work with physicians and facilities to provide members with meaningful healthcare cost data. In turn, members can make more informed choices about their health and healthcare spending.

Addresses: WellPoint Inc., 120 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204; (317) 562-6000, www.wellpoint.com. Highmark Inc., 120 Fifth Ave Pl., Pittsburgh, PA 15222; (412) 544-7000, www.highmark.com. Premera Blue Cross, 7001 220th St. SW, Mountainlake Terrace, WA 98043; (425) 670-4000, www.premera.com. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, 3535 Blue Cross Road, St. Paul, MN 55122; (651) 622-1502, www.bluecrossmn.com. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, 600 E. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit, MI 48226; (313) 225-9000, www.bcbsmi.com.


  This article was taken from:
The Executive Report on Managed Care

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