WellPoint Official Touts New Services, Knocks Reform Bill
On Thursday, an executive of WellPoint touted a new doctor-rating tool and other upcoming services for California members and noted the company's opposition to the health care reform plan that failed in the Senate this week, the Ventura County Star reports.
WellPoint, the parent company of Blue Cross of California, serves 8.3 million residents statewide.
Samuel Nussbaum, executive vice president for clinical health policy and chief medical officer for Wellpoint, said California is an "extremely important" and "vital state" for the company.
Nussbaum highlighted pilot projects under way in California, including a new doctor-rating service available to members in the Los Angeles area in April. Patients will have access to a Zagat survey tool to rate physicians and read other patients' reviews, according to Nussbaum.
WellPoint also is developing a "member health index," which compares the quality of care members receive with the expected standard, Nussbaum said. The goal is to identify gaps in care and fill them.
Nussbaum said WellPoint opposed the health care reform legislation (ABX1 1) that was backed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and rejected by a Senate committee earlier this week.
With 6.6 million uninsured California residents, health care reform is necessary, and WellPoint wants "to be part of" the solution, Nussbaum said. However, he added, "don't create solutions that make insurance unaffordable for people who can afford it now" (Klampe, Ventura County Star, 2/1).