|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
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
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.