iHealthBeat: Washington state health insurers Regence BlueShield and Aetna are providing their members with additional online health care cost and quality information to help curb rising costs, and increase transparency.
Aetna recently began posting online hospitals’, surgical centers’ and other health facilities’ charges for about 30 common medical procedures, such as colonoscopies and hysterectomies. In 2006, the insurer began offering information online about the prices charged by specific physicians. Last month Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina began posting prices online for hundreds of services and procedures to increase transparency.
Meanwhile, Regence BlueShield has found that its members would rather know more about other patients’ experiences than charges. In April, Regence BlueShield will let its three million members read online comments from other patients about their experiences with physicians, dentists and other health care professionals.