The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association has launched a new platform on its Axis data analytics infrastructure to collect specific data from all 36 Blues plans that will give consumers with coverage more information when picking a physician while selecting a benefit plan.

Axis holds 36 million provider records and data reflecting more than $350 billion in annual claims, as well as 750,000 patient reviews of physicians. Now, the plans will contribute their cost and quality data to Axis so members going to a Blues website to search for a physician can not only see reviews from others, but also have a better idea of the pricing and quality scores of the physicians being considered.

The new service, to be accessed via each individual’s plan website, is live now with cost/quality data and reviews in some markets. Over time, the service also will give details on experience levels and other aspects of a physician’s work, such as readmission or infection rates per procedure, says Doug Porter, senior vice president of operations and CIO. The new service is being rolled out as annual open enrollment soon gears up. The goal, he adds, is to help members navigate to the best service at good price point.

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Consumers want simplicity and mobility to get to the provider directory, they want to know what the selection of a particular plan and physician means to their out-of-pocket costs, and they want to know how many particular procedures a physician has done and the cost, and all that information will become available, Porter says.

The cost and quality data being collected will go back about three years and over time the Blues’ expect to have the information available with sub-second response times in all zip codes across the nation, says Maureen Sullivan, senior vice president of strategic services and chief strategy officer.

In 2016, explanations of specific procedures will be available on the site, including tips such as how to strengthen muscles before hip surgery and what to expect before and after the surgery, Porter says. More tools also will be coming to better guide members toward improved care and health status.

This article courtesy of Information Management's sister brand, HealthData Management.

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