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February 5, 2004

Health insurer updates hospital comparison program for consumers

New Yorkers may now compare the most recent inpatient performance for upstate hospitals using Excellus BlueCross BlueShield’s web-based hospital comparison program.

The Rochester-based health insurer launched the program in December 2002. The program allows users to compare inpatient performance for 20 different procedures at 62 upstate facilities. Excellus updated the site in January to include the most recent data available.

“This comparison tool and the information it provides have tremendous value for consumers,” said Jonathan Kaplan, MD, chief medical officer for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield. “As health care costs continue to rise, consumers are seeking information to help them make the best decisions in terms of quality and cost. An accurate, fair hospital comparison program is one more tool for consumers to use in discussions with their doctors about where and when to seek hospital care.”

The program uses information from the New York Statewide Planning and Research Cooperative Reporting System, as well as the federal government's Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Excellus also uses a tool recommended by AHRQ to adjust the data for different factors.

For more information on the hospital comparison program, visit www.excellusbcbs.com/.