Medical Data Services Help Workers Make Informed Choices
As more employers are offering health coverage that encourages employees to take more "financial responsibility for their health care choices," some companies are also providing medical data services to help workers make informed choices, USA Today reports. Offering such services is an additional cost for employers at a time when health care costs are already rising, but many companies say such services will eventually "improve medical care, cut expenses and increase worker productivity." USA Today reports that a number of medical data companies have "rush[ed] to fill the information void," providing "medical literature searches, data on the quality of local hospitals and information about treatment options." USA Today highlights four companies that specialize in providing medical data services:
- Consumer's Medical Resources: The company provides "customized reports" for 40 serious medical conditions. The reports include questions to ask doctors. Clients include Honeywell, R.R. Donnelley and AIG.
- iHealer: An Internet-based service being piloted by "a large employer," the service asks workers about their illnesses and ranks treatment options based on "personal preferences and quality of life issues."
Subimo: Offered through insurers, the service helps workers choose hospitals and outlines the pros and cons of treatment for three dozen conditions. Clients include health insurance companies Unicare in Massachusetts, First Choice, Definity Health, PacifiCare and Health-Market.
- Select Quality Care: Offered through insurers, the service provides hospital information based on facility outcomes for 50 different conditions or surgeries. Clients include Empire Blue Cross and Blue Shield.
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