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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: November 23, 2010
N.H. City, Anthem Blues Reward Smart Healthcare Shoppers

Employees of Manchester, N.H., the state’s largest city, can now earn rewards for choosing more cost-effective healthcare providers, thanks to a pilot program developed by the city and Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire.

"We strongly feel that this program represents a key potential step in helping to control the city’s health care costs," said Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas. "I am proud to say that we have already seen employees step up and take advantage of this service. It is a great way for our employees to getengaged and help protect the excellent health benefits they have."

The program offers financial incentives to employees who choose to receive their care in lower-cost facilities for a host of high-volume, elective healthcare services, including outpatient surgery, routine health screenings, and diagnostic imaging.

Despite a wealth of high quality physicians in New Hampshire, "there can be a broad variation in cost for the same services based on where they are performed – as much as 250 percent – for some procedures," said Douglas J. Wenners, Anthem’s president and general manager. "If employees choose to receive care in a lower-cost location, the city benefits through lower claims costs."

The program targets high volume elective procedures and tests, including carpal tunnel surgery, colonoscopy, knee and shoulder arthroscopy and mammograms.

"While all city employees and their dependants are automatically enrolled in the program, participation is completely voluntary and completely confidential," Wenners said. "The incentive program is location-based, not doctor-based, which means the city is not asking employees to change doctors."

The program "is an important first step in providing an avenue for employees to protect the great health benefits they have against the rising cost of medical inflation," Gatsas said. "The program benefits taxpayers by avoiding unnecessary costs within the current healthcare system."

Employee response to the program "has been extremely positive," said Jane Gile, Manchester’s human resources director.

Address: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in New Hampshire, 3000 Goffs Falls Rd., Manchester, NH 03103; (800) 874-7122,

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

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