Empire BlueCross BlueShield Takes AIM at Healthcare Costs
July 30, 2012
By Tom Canty, Vice President and General Manager for Labor, Government and Special Accounts at Empire BlueCross BlueShield
Using technology from AIM Specialty Health, Empire BlueCross BlueShield has just launched a voluntary program that will provide members with information to help them compare the costs and quality of imaging services. The program, which began earlier this year, engages members seeking MRI or CT imaging services in the following New York counties: Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Queens, Suffolk and Westchester counties.
Once a referral is made for an MRI and/or CT scan by a physician to a specific facility, members will receive a call providing them information on other in-network facilities that offer the same imaging services — and how those facilities rank in terms of cost and quality, so they can make an informed decision as to where they want to receive these services.
The cost of advanced imaging procedures has increased in recent years, contributing to higher medical costs. For example, the cost for MRI and CT scans can vary from $350 to $2,000, depending on the region where you live and the facility where a procedure is performed. Members who pay a percentage of their care — as opposed to a co-payment — could end up spending hundreds of dollars more for a certain procedure depending on where it was performed.
Empire members deserve access to the right care at the right time and in the right setting. This program is another way to help you, our member, make more informed health care decisions and control how your health care dollars.