October 7, 2008

HealthPartners Posts Prices for Care at 500 Clinics

HealthPartners has launched a new Web tool that provides prices for 83 procedures at its network primary care and radiology facilities in the seven county metro area. The listed prices are available only on HealthPartners' secure member Web site. HealthPartners has previously provided cost information in a range of prices for many services. This new tool lists specific prices at individual clinics in HealthPartners' open-access network. The prices are for five high volume categories of services: office visits, immunizations/vaccines, common lab services, X-Ray and CT/MRI. For example, a wrist X-ray at one Twin Cities clinic costs $61.60; an influenza test is $29.18.

"This is an important step forward in transparency because the information we provide is for specific prices rather than a range," said Scott Aebischer, senior vice president, customer service and product innovation. "This information is particularly useful for members who are paying out-of-pocket fees. Pricing, along with overall cost and quality information, can help a member determine the care provider that is right for them."

A HealthPartners study released last year found that consumers with health savings accounts used Web tools 13 percent more often to compare cost and quality. The study also found that costs were more than four percent lower for members in consumer direct health plans due to members choosing lower cost and more efficient providers.

The new price listings by clinic are accessible through the Find a Provider/Clinic section of healthpartners.com. It is the most frequently accessed section of HealthPartners Web site, with an average of more than 107,000 search requests per month.

In December, HealthPartners plans to expand cost information available to members on the Web site with an interactive tool that will allow members to compare prices for 100 services/procedures at up to three locations at a time.

About HealthPartners

Founded in 1957, the HealthPartners (www.healthpartners.com) family of healthcare companies serves more than one million medical and dental health plan members nationwide. It is the largest consumer-governed, nonprofit health care organization in the nation, providing care, coverage, research and education to improve the health of members, patients and the community. For the third year in a row, HealthPartners is rated one of the best commercial health plans in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, NCQA's "America's Best Health Plans 2007" and is ranked "Highest in Member Satisfaction among Commercial Health Plans in the Minnesota-Wisconsin Region" by J.D. Power and Associates.