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Blue plans in five states collaborate to share healthcare cost information

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Healthcare Finance Newswrites: WellPoint, Inc., Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and Healthcare Service Corporation, which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, will collaborate to provide access to WellPoint’s online cost comparison tool (Care Comparison). With this expansion, more than 48 million plan members will have access to cost information.

Using Care Comparison, these Blue companies will provide the total estimated cost ranges associated with approximately 35 specific medical procedures performed at more than 2,800 local hospitals, outpatient surgery centers, free-standing radiology facilities or other medical facilities.

The estimated cost ranges provided through Care Comparison 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. Ranges of healthcare cost information will initially be rolled out on a limited basis in each of these states.

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