Tool helps members take control of their health care budget, find the right care
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – To empower its members to make more informed health care decisions, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee recently unveiled a Financial Planner tool that provides cost estimates and quality information for a variety of procedures and treatments.
Using the tool, members can find information for more than 1,400 common health care services. Search results are based on real claims data from more than 20,000 providers and facilities in BlueCross networks. These results can be sorted to help members find a provider based on a variety of factors including cost, location, and quality ratings.
The tool provides members with a realistic and customized cost overview for a procedure, based on their plan benefits, latest deductible balance and their chosen provider and facility. The Financial Planner also allows members to compare expected cost ranges for different providers and facilities.
“Imagine that a family purchases a refrigerator and can only know the cost when the credit card bill arrives a month later – as crazy as it sounds, that’s how health care has worked for a long time,” notes Henry Smith, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for BlueCross. “This tool is designed to give our members access to the data they need in order to make important decisions about their health care.”
The new tool is part of an overall trend to support those seeking information about their out-of-pocket costs, as members become responsible for a greater share of their medical expenses.
In addition to information about costs, the Financial Planner also provides quality data to help members find the right care. The tool provides information on provider and facility ratings, plus reviews from other patients.
“We believe that increased awareness about both the quality and cost of health care will help our members make meaningful and informed choices, which helps us fulfill our mission of peace of mind through better health,” said Carla Raynor, vice president of strategic marketing for BlueCross.
The Financial Planner has been designed to make it simple and quick for members to locate quality, in-network care while understanding costs, explained Vanessa Daffron, director of digital marketing at BlueCross.
She points out that, “When accessing cost estimates or quality ratings, the tool provides a consistent and easy-to-use experience for members whether they’re on their smart phone, tablet, or desktop computer.”
The Financial Planner is just the latest step in information sharing for BlueCross, which has published physician quality data online since 2008 and made procedure cost estimates available to members since 2013. Before launching the new tool, BlueCross shared information about claims costs with its network providers and gave them an opportunity for review and input.
For more information about the Financial Planner, visit bcbst.com.
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee’s mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.bcbst.com.