November 12, 2008

HealthGrades Sponsors PlanSmartChoice.Com

Asparity Decision Solutions, a leading provider of decision support and data solutions in health care and employee benefits, announces that HealthGrades, the leading independent health care ratings organization, is one of the primary sponsors for PlanSmartChoice is an online Web portal designed to help federal employees select their health care coverage. The site is now live and free to all federal employees for the federal open season.

As part of the sponsorship, HealthGrades ratings and quality information on each of the nation's hospitals and doctors is available to federal employees using PlanSmartChoice.

"We are excited that HealthGrades is sponsoring the PlanSmartChoice site," said Colleen M. Murphy, Asparity's President and CEO. "Their hospital and physician ratings complement our health plan selection tools, and federal employees win by having all of this information at their fingertips."

"As federal employees select health plans, one of the first questions they have is whether the doctor or hospital of their choice is part of their health plan," said Dave Hicks, Executive Vice President, HealthGrades. "That's why we are proud to sponsor PlanSmartChoice and to provide millions of federal employees with discounted access to HealthGrades' rating information about doctors and hospitals."

Visitors to find quality ratings and cost information for the nation's 5,000 hospitals and 16,000 nursing homes, as well as in-depth profiles of the nation's more than 750,000 physicians. Under the agreement, HealthGrades provides federal employees with information about their health care providers at no charge. More detailed information on providers is available at a discount from HealthGrades. "Our partnership means that federal employees have the information they need about their providers free of charge or at very little cost," said Murphy. Federal employees also have access to the HealthGrades' information throughout the year as their health care needs change.

About HealthGrades

Health Grades, Inc. is the leading healthcare ratings organization, providing ratings and profiles of hospitals, nursing homes and physicians. Millions of consumers and many of the nation's largest employers, health plans and hospitals rely on HealthGrades' independent ratings and decision support resources to make healthcare decisions based on the quality and cost of care. More information on the company can be found at

About PlanSmartChoice

PlanSmartChoice is available to federal employees that select their benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). FEHBP became effective in 1960 and is the largest employer-sponsored group health insurance program in the world, covering millions of federal employees, retirees, and family members. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees have used Asparity's PlanSmartChoice health plan selection tools since they were first made available in 1998. The tools were developed in 1996 and 1997, when the Agency for Health Care Policy & Research/ Small Business Innovation Research granted Asparity's founder more than $1 million to develop software that would help federal employees and retirees choose a health plan. The technology, trademarked PlanSmartChoice, was patented in 2004.

About Asparity Decision Solutions

Asparity provides decision support and data solutions for the management of health care and employee benefits. The company owns patented technology in conjoint analysis and advanced software applications that it delivers directly to corporate clients, through strategic partners, and in a sponsorship-based Web portal ( The company is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. To find out more, please visit or contact Leslie Hart at 919-688-1430.