Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania (BCNEPA) now provides its BlueCare members with access to an online comparison resource from WebMD, the leading provider of health information services. WebMD's Hospital AdvisorSM, delivers risk-adjusted comparisons of hospital performance on more than 160 common diagnoses and procedures, enabling members to make better choices for care.

"Hospital Advisor empowers members to make more informed decisions about where to seek health care services based on hospital performance, while gaining a greater understanding of hospital quality and charges," says Gerald Walsh, vice president of provider advocacy at BCNEPA. "Using the information provided, members can discuss the options with their doctor and together make the best choice for hospital care."

Hospital Advisor allows members to compare up to 10 hospitals at a time based on key measures such as complication rates, the number of patients treated for a given diagnosis or procedure, and the estimated charge for the hospital to perform the procedure. Members are then provided with a report that ranks each hospital with an overall score for a given condition or procedure, as well as its performance for each individual measure.

"We want to help our members access the highest quality care possible," says Walsh. "Our association with WebMD gives members the relevant, objective information they need to find the best care for themselves and their families."

The Hospital Advisor tool is available to BCNEPA members with BlueCare coverage. For more information on Hospital Advisor, log in to the Member Self-service area of www.bcnepa.com [1].

Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association headquartered in Wilkes-Barre. It offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to approximately 600,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company's mission is to provide innovative solutions that support more affordable health care, promote personal accountability for health and wellness, and offer superior service and partnership to employers, members, and providers.