Tennessee: Online Physician Comparison Tool Launched
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee this week launched an online physician cost and quality comparison tool, the Tennessean reports. The new tool enables consumers to view information on what different physicians bill for procedures within a certain specialty, as well as physicians' records on performing screenings, such as mammograms or tests for cervical cancer. The information is based on BCBS claims data, but physicians can add their own medical profile information that is not a part of the insurer's data. Paul Kulpa, program manager for consumer-directed health care products at BCBS, said 700 doctors added such data.
Critics are concerned that the BCBS Web tool and other similar Web sites could be used to steer patients to the least-costly physicians, who may not provide the highest-quality care. BCBS said it is providing the information to allow consumers to make informed decisions (Tennessean, 9/17).
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