Bluebook Blog

Uncovering healthcare spending and employee engagement solutions

7 Reasons to Implement a Healthcare Transparency Solution

Most healthcare consumers don’t know what healthcare procedures cost—they just assume they’re going to be expensive.

Bluebook is a healthcare price and quality transparency solution that lets employees quickly and easily identify cost effective, high-quality providers, and shop for healthcare.

If you’re a benefits manager, you may be tempted to think the healthcare transparency tool offered by your insurance carrier is all your employees need to shop for healthcare. But, if you really want them to get quality healthcare at a Fair Price, there are seven key differences between Healthcare Bluebook and typical health insurance transparency tools to consider. 


1. Healthcare Bluebook educates the employee.

Many employees don’t know how to use their benefits, and most don’t know that they need to shop for care. Healthcare Bluebook is as much about education as it is about price and quality transparency. We teach your employees the basics of being a healthcare consumer. We help your employees understand why they need to shop for healthcare and how to find the lowest-cost, highest-quality care—basics that are almost never taught by carrier tools.


2. Healthcare Bluebook provides price information employees can understand.

When using a price transparency tool, what should a consumer see?

At Bluebook, the first, most important step is helping the consumer understand the local price variance and the Fair Price, or what they should reasonably expect to pay for a service in their area. The Fair Price is critical, because it serves as the target for the consumer—the price against which all providers should be compared.

In addition, price information should be clear to the consumer – is the price indicated the total price? Does it include the facility, professional and anesthesia components? Bluebook always presents the complete price for a service and allows the user to break the full price into its individual components.

No carrier tool begins by helping the consumer understand the Fair Price for a procedure. Carrier tools simply list providers using average price or overlapping price ranges, which makes it extremely difficult for the user to understand the enormous price differences or what they should pay. Additionally, most carrier tools do not present the complete price. If the user looks up a hospital, they typically see the hospital component. If they look up a professional, they will see the professional fee. Breaking up the fees makes it even more difficult for the user to understand the total price, and which provider offers the best value.

Healthcare Bluebook removes the headache and confusion by highlighting local in-network price variability and the Fair Price, comparing all providers to the same standard (the Fair Price), and making it easy for users to find cost-effective care.


3. Healthcare Bluebook is easy to use.

Because employees don’t understand the complicated healthcare system, we made Bluebook easy to use. Not only does Healthcare Bluebook present the right information for employees to make good decisions about their healthcare, we also present that information in a simple, easy-to-understand format. Healthcare Bluebook uses intuitive “stoplight” iconography and categorizes providers by color. Each color, Green-Yellow-Red corresponds to where their cost falls in relation to the Fair Price.

No carrier tool uses an interface that is as simple and easy to understand as Bluebook. Regardless of primary language or reading level, it’s simple: Green is at or below the Fair Price, yellow slightly higher, and red providers are among the most expensive. By providing these visual cues, Healthcare Bluebook makes it easier—and faster—for employees to get to the answers they need. It doesn’t get simpler than that.

Wait—it does. Healthcare Bluebook is available online and on a mobile app, giving your employees access to the answers they need when they need them—at the referral desk at their doctor’s office, for instance. The Fair Price is literally in their pocket.


4. Healthcare Bluebook includes quality rankings.

Most hospitals perform most services, but few hospitals perform all services equally well. It is important for consumers to know each hospital’s performance by clinical category because even the nation’s most well regarded provider systems may have low performance in some clinical areas.

Healthcare Bluebook offers an independent, national inpatient quality rating that allows consumers to compare quality by procedure and by hospital. We score all 5,000+ U.S. acute care hospitals based on objective data and a peer reviewed methodology. The results are presented using a color-coding system to compare each hospital against every other hospital in the U.S. Unlike many carrier tools that only show quality information on high-performing hospitals, Healthcare   Bluebook allows users to see the entire spectrum—high performers, and equally important, low performers.

Bluebook presents both quality and cost for each facility, so that consumers understand the complete picture, before selecting a provider.


5. Healthcare Bluebook offers maximum flexibility to the employer.

Bluebook offers a single transparency platform for all your members, regardless of the number of carriers and plan types you offer. Bluebook offers a universal, consistent experience for all your programs, including content, communications and rewards. It allows for program integration to be completed one time, rather than having multiple integrations with each carrier.

Bluebook offers unlimited bi-directional integration with all your vendors (wellness, on-site clinics, advocacy, even carrier programs), native mobile applications and single sign-on integration with all your portals. Those pesky carrier fees for integration? Bluebook doesn’t charge them. Bluebook also works seamlessly with high-value wrap networks, bundled payments, provider scheduling and other benefit initiatives.


6. Healthcare Bluebook cares about engagement.

The more employees use Healthcare Bluebook, the more money they save on out of pocket costs, and the less money your company spends on healthcare. Bluebook supports our customers by providing a multitude of engagement strategies and programs to boost consumerism. Our client communications portal, Bluebook Central, is preloaded with a wide array of customized content to make it easy for employers to send reminders, email campaigns and post cards – or download videos, games and contests or printable materials for your members.

Most importantly, Bluebook’s industry leading Go Green to Get Green incentive program rewards employees when they use high value “Green” providers - a practice that carriers typically avoid because they don’t want to encourage use of one network provider over another.


7. Healthcare Bluebook provides analysis and ROI reporting.

When was the last time your carrier pointed out that the hospital where most of your employees have cataract surgery charges $4,000 more than the local ambulatory surgery center? Healthcare Bluebook begins every engagement with an economic analysis of past utilization. Bluebook estimates your potential savings from improved consumerism, visually illustrates price variability in your major markets and provides insights that inform program design elements, such as rewards and communications strategies.

Did transparency save you and your employees money? At the end of the year, Healthcare Bluebook provides an empiric, data-driven analysis of your claims data to help you understand the impact your program has had on changing behavior, case movement to lower-cost providers, and the savings that resulted from better consumerism.



With Healthcare Bluebook’s pain-free 120-day implementation process, your HR team won’t be burdened with frequent meetings or big time commitments.

Plus, our 100% on-time implementation record means your employees get access to Healthcare Bluebook on time so you and your employees can begin saving right away.



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