Program Will Provide Information on Health Care Costs
The BlueCross BlueShield Association on Thursday announced the launch of a program that will provide members with information on health care quality and costs, CQ HealthBeat reports. Under the program, called Blue Distinction, BCBSA will use current measures to collect hospital and physician information for members.
Blue Distinction includes three parts: transparency demonstrations, a hospital measurement and improvement program, and Blue Distinction Centers. Seventeen BCBSA plans have begun to conduct transparency demonstrations, which seek to provide members with a complete list of costs for medical procedures and services, BCBSA President and CEO Scott Serota said.
The hospital measurement and improvement program involves a partnership with medical societies and health care providers to implement standards of care for common conditions based on measures established by CMS and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. BCBSA also will use quality measures to select hospitals to serve as Blue Distinction Centers for bariatric surgery, cardiac care and transplants based on quality measures and will make a directory of the centers available to members by July 1.
Serota said that Blue Distinction seeks to make members "more judicious purchasers of health care" and improve the quality and affordability of health care (Sedlar, CQ Health Beat, 6/8).