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Wed January 23, 2013
New agreement with Blue Cross could make health costs transparent
The Rhode Island Business Group on Health says it has struck an agreement with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island that will increase transparency about health care costs. What insurers pay health care providers for the services they cover has, until now, been kept private.
The coalition of more than 75 Rhode Island employers announced its agreement with the insurer to remove a confidentiality clause from all new contracts with providers. Rhode Island Business Group on Health spokesman Don Nokes says this means that Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island will be able to do what its sister organizations in other states are already doing: putting what they pay health care providers for the services they cover online.
“But in the case of Rhode Island, they are not able to populate that system with their true costs because they’ve signed a confidentiality agreement," said Nokes.
Removing the confidentiality agreement with providers will enable Blue Cross to make more information available to its members and health care consumers. Nokes says the idea is to enable consumers to comparison shop and have more choices when it comes to what they pay for health care. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island was not immediately available for comment.
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