A managed care company will be offering health plan members more detailed, specific information about the likely cost and quality of their medical care.[@@]
The company, CIGNA HealthCare, Bloomfield, Conn., a unit of CIGNA Corp., Philadelphia, says it will be using personalized member Web sites to provide average price ranges by facility for a variety of ambulatory surgical procedures and high-tech radiology services.
The Web sites also will provide facility-specific price ranges for 19 procedures, such as endoscopy and arthroscopic joint procedures, according to CIGNA HealthCare.
These prices could be especially helpful, because rates for these types of services often vary widely within a given region, and patients who need them usually have time to decide where to go for care, according to CIGNA HealthCare.
Member Web sites also will provide average price ranges and member-specific out-of-pocket estimates for specific hospital procedures. Up till now, CIGNA HealthCare’s Web-based Hospital Value Tool has been providing star-based cost-efficiency scores rather than dollar estimates.
Web sites also will list average prices that physicians charge for certain services. In most communities, these prices tend to lie within a fairly narrow range, according to CIGNA HealthCare.
The company notes that its health plans already provide a pharmacy price quote tool that helps plan members determine what actual out-of-pocket costs will be for specific drugs at specific pharmacies.