Business

Highmark’s Care Cost Estimator Looks Promising

1 Mins read

Highmark Health Services, a big Blue Cross Blue Shield plan is rolling out its Care Cost Estimator, a transparency tool designed to get members to make cost-saving choices. The video embedded below does a good job of explaining the tool. In watching it, I’m impressed at just how far these tools have come over the past couple of years.

Highmark Health Services, a big Blue Cross Blue Shield plan is rolling out its Care Cost Estimator, a transparency tool designed to get members to make cost-saving choices. The video embedded below does a good job of explaining the tool. In watching it, I’m impressed at just how far these tools have come over the past couple of years.

The site is similar in concept to a travel website like Orbitz. It allows users to select the type of care they need, and then see an array of provider choices and associated costs. The costs include total costs and out-of-pocket costs that are specific to the member. It claims to incorporate all aspects of the benefit design and benefit use to calculate the actual out-of-pocket costs. The site also displays patient reviews of the providers.

The real potential of the site is described at around the 2:20 mark, where the video refers to “reference based benefits,” which set an allowable price for a specific procedure and then make the patient pay anything above that amount. Reference pricing has the potential to produce major cost savings at least for certain procedures. I wasn’t aware that Highmark was utilizing this approach. In any case, in order to make reference-based pricing effective, transparency tools like this are an absolute must.

I don’t know whether the site is as easy to use and as useful as the video makes it seem. But if so, this is a big step forward for Highmark, its customers and members.


By David E. Williams of the Health Business Group.

Related posts
BusinessHospital Administration

How To Become An Emergency Preparedness Administrator

3 Mins read
Across the United States and the entire globe, we’ve seen more than our fair share of disasters in the last few years….
BusinessHospital Administration

Disruption in the Medical Supplies Business: B2B eCommerce is the Prevention and the Cure

4 Mins read
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But unfortunately, that saying doesn’t really tell you the price of either….
BusinesseHealth

6 Tips for Medical Companies to Improve the Patient Experience

3 Mins read
Few individuals actively look forward to a trip to a medical facility or hospital. Rather, people often feel nervous, concerned, or ––…