Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has launched its Compass Smart Shopper program in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Indiana.
Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has launched its Compass Smart Shopper program in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Indiana. The program offers cash to patients who have procedures done at less expensive facilities. Patients are paid $50 to $200 for standard radiology exams such as mammograms and MRIs as well as some surgical procedures such as joint replacements, hernia repair, tonsillectomies and bariatric surgery.
The program works by allowing patients to call a toll-free number or access a website that lists local providers offering lower cost services. If the facility where the doctor referred the patient is not on the list of lower-cost locations the patient can ask to have the referral changed. Once the claim is paid, Anthem cross-checks the records with the telephone / on-line records and sends the patient a check in the mail within 60 days.
A similar program, Save On, was launched by Pilgrim Health Care in New Hampshire and expanded in Massachusetts.
While these programs are voluntary, the financial incentives to patients, particularly in tough economic times, may cloud their judgment on quality issues.