Cincinnati — Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio announced the expansion of the Zagat Health Survey, an online survey tool that will allow consumers to share their physician experiences with others regarding physicians throughout the entire state. In January 2008, Anthem launched the tool for members to rate physicians in the greater Cincinnati and Dayton markets.

"We're pleased to expand this tool, allowing our members to review and share feedback about physicians throughout the entire state," says Erin Hoeflinger, president of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio. "Since launching the tool in January, we have seen a positive response from our members, as nearly 90% of members who completed the survey recommended their providers and offered useful comments about their experiences."

Working with New York-based Zagat Survey, Anthem is helping to address an unmet need for peer-to-peer interaction among healthcare consumers. The Zagat Health Survey tool provides a vehicle for members to review and evaluate physicians based on a set of distinct criteria, creating a trusted resource to support informed member decision-making. This tool not only helps members, but also is designed to assist doctors in understanding members' experiences.

The online survey tool allows consumers to review their doctor visits based on:

Trust - Confidence in the physician's approach
Communication - Physician's bedside manner, responsiveness and rapport
Availability - Convenience for making appointments and physician's punctuality Environment - Condition of the office, staff helpfulness, atmosphere and amenities

Consumers also will be asked whether they would recommend their doctor to others, and features a comments section where members can explain their ratings. These categories are solely designed to reflect a consumer's experience with a physician and not to reflect the quality of care received.

For each network physician, the online entry will display contact information, ratings on a 30-point scale for each of the four categories and the percentage of members who recommend that physician. The most recent comments will be displayed first, and members will have the option to rate the usefulness of comments and report suspicious comments. Anthem members can complete the Zagat Health Survey by logging on to the secure member portal on the Anthem Web site.

"Consumer experience feedback is an important complement to clinical quality, cost and other information available to help consumers make informed decisions," says Dr. Barry Malinowski, medical director, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio. "With this tool, Anthem is giving consumers the ability to share and learn from other people's experiences when making the important decision about selecting a doctor."

Source: Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio

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