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WellPoint Explains Tiered Hospital Networks

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NU Online News Service, June 28, 12:35 p.m. – Blue Cross of California, a unit of WellPoint Health Networks Inc., Thousand Oaks, Calif., has developed a consumer fact sheet that explains the company’s new “tiered hospital networks.”

California Blue is encouraging the 4.1 million members in its preferred provider organization plans to consider cost when choosing hospitals by adding general hospital cost category information to its provider directories.

In many cases, California Blue will require members to pay higher out-of-pocket costs for hospitals that charge more.

This year, California Blue is dividing hospitals into four major cost categories, with 10% classified as “most expensive”; 40% as “more expensive”; 40% as “less expensive”; and 10% as “least expensive.”