Regence launches effort to further health care debate

Consumer campaign asks “What’s the Real Cost?”

Portland, Ore. - Lost in the confusion and complexity of health care reform is the power of simple questions that people can ask each day, questions that can drive real, effective health care reform.
 
To spark this effort, Regence BlueCross BlueShield launched WhatsTheRealCost.org, a multi-faceted, online effort designed to inspire debate, discussion, and ultimately engagement and action by consumers. As the United States deliberates health care reform, each person has a stake – and an opportunity – to create a more affordable, effective and compassionate system.
 
“We strongly believe that every American has an important voice – and role – in the transformation of our nation’s health care system, but recognize that many people lack the information and the facts to effectively engage,” said Mark Ganz, President and CEO of Regence.  “To bridge this knowledge gap, and to motivate consumers to take action, we have launched an effort that underscores the power of a question: ‘What’s the real cost?’ “
 
There is one fact that all sides agree upon as the debate about reform rages: without addressing the high rate of medical spending, the nation cannot achieve meaningful transformation of the health care system. The campaign is part of Regence’s ongoing efforts to educate consumers about the real costs of health care, and how the choices they make each day impact those costs.
 
By learning more about health care costs and taking actions to address them, participants can “help reduce runaway costs” and progress from being a lemming within the system to a “cost buster.” The main site, WhatsTheRealCost.org, has several “mini-sites,” each with a different message and activity:
 
Educates the consumer on the real cost of specific procedures, and what different areas of the health care system contribute to those costs.
 
Features health care “myths and facts” and the latest government proposals on health care reform.
 
An engaging and interactive experience focused on educating consumers with questions they should ask to help reduce costs in order to change the health care world that we live in.
 
A place where participants can connect with each other through blogging and social networking, giving a voice to the movement. Features Facebook and Twitter links.
 
Online game where the user is a “Community Health Planner,” challenged with managing the health of a community with limited resources.
 
“We know the cost of doing nothing, of maintaining the status quo. It has resulted in an unsustainable health care system,” said Ganz. “When people ask questions, they ignite exploration, innovation, change. Together, our collective voices – and questions – can accomplish more than any government mandate. Share your stories, trade examples, gain knowledge – and hold the entire system accountable.”
 
The revolution can begin with the five questions found here: http://www.north.com/RegenceWTRC/index.html. While those at the peak of power debate the future of reform, Americans can launch real change today. For further inspiration, visit www.WhatsTheRealCost.org, and join the conversation.
 
About Regence
Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest / Intermountain Region, serving three million members as Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueShield (selected counties in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each plan is a not-for-profit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is committed to improving the health of our members and our communities, and to transforming our health care system. For more information, please visit www.regence.com or follow the company on Twitter.