New York - CIGNA Inc. is expanding its on-line pricing data for consumers, the company reports.
As part of its initiative to involve consumers more in healthcare decision-making, New York-based CIGNA plans to roll out services provided by hospitals, surgical and radiological facilities, and physicians.
"It's very consistent with CIGNA's consumerism approach," said Jeffrey Kang, chief medical officer of CIGNA Healthcare. "It's all about getting meaningful and actionable information to consumers for their choices."
Beginning in January, CIGNA will list specific price ranges for hospitals nationwide for 15 common admissions, such as childbirth, angioplasty and coronary bypass surgery. Currently, CIGNA ranks hospitals with one to three stars, depending on their prices for these admissions. Starting in January, the company will associate specific dollar values with the rankings.
CIGNA also already provides quality and efficiency rankings for these admissions.
In February, the company plans to publicize prices for surgical facilities. The prices will cover 19 procedures, such as endoscopies and arthroscopic joint procedures. CIGNA will do the same for radiological facilities, with the prices covering various diagnostic scans.
The pricing information on facilities will be published on a pilot basis in a few markets before expanding it nationwide sometime in the second quarter. Kang said a certain procedure at one facility could possibly cost three times more than at another within a certain market.
Starting in March, Cigna will also give the average price range for types of office visits, but the data will not be physician-specific.
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