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WI Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to post cost of tests, procedures online

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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield will begin posting online the estimated cost of 39 common medical procedures and tests in southeastern Wisconsin this month, reports iHealthBeat.

The insurer will post on its Web site an estimated range for the total cost of a procedure or test — such as mammography, colonoscopy, MRI of the spine and knee-replacement surgery — at hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers and imaging centers. The estimates are based on the rates that Anthem negotiates and include physician fees and ancillary services, such as physical therapy.

The information will be available to members of Anthem Blue Cross’ Preferred health plan. Later, Anthem plans to post prices for additional procedures and tests and add quality data.

WellPoint, the insurer’s parent company, is disclosing estimated prices in 17 national markets. In April, the insurer began disclosing prices in northeastern Wisconsin and eventually plans to provide information for the entire state.

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