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Doctors Get High Marks as Regence Members Share Opinions Online
Sep 03, 2008 (12:09 PM EDT)


PORTLAND, Ore., Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- An overwhelming majority of Regence members would recommend their doctor to others, according to a popular online survey on the company's member Web site -- myRegence.com. A "Member Feedback" feature on the site allows Regence members to post feedback on their experiences with individual providers, including physicians, dentists, other health care professionals and facilities.

"Our own research and national studies show that patients want to hear from other patients," said David Clark, Senior Vice President of Health Care Services for Regence. "We created the feedback feature so members can share experiences and compare notes. That kind of information helps our members make better decisions about their health care."

According to Clark, 89 percent of those leaving feedback would recommend their provider to someone else. Those statistics come from more than 28,000 reviews posted on the Web site since October 2006.

Initially, the feedback feature allowed members to rate providers on a numeric scale. Since December 2007, members have also been able to leave comments.

"The majority of comments are overwhelmingly positive," said Clark. "Members are reporting very good experiences. That underscores the high caliber of physicians in our networks. When concerns are raised, it is usually about issues such as waiting time, listening skills, billing issues or bedside manner, issues that most physicians are already working to address."

The Member Feedback feature available to Regence members is the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest/Intermountain region. Similar tools have been offered in other parts of the country, but the response has generally been less enthusiastic.

The feedback tool also lets providers review comments and reply to them. This feature was added after discussions with providers, to help encourage a true discussion.

The Member Feedback feature is the latest in a series of online elements Regence is developing to help members gain a better understanding of the health care system and how they can make informed decisions about their health. In early 2009, Regence plans to continue its efforts by launching an enhanced version of the company's Expanded Provider Profile feature as well as additional information on costs within the health care system. The Expanded Provider Profile was added after discussions with providers, to help encourage a true, two-way conversation.

About Regence

Regence is the largest health insurer in the Northwest/Intermountain Region, offering health, life and dental insurance. Regence serves three million members as Regence BlueShield (in selected counties in Washington), Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield of Idaho. Each health 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 regence.com.

About myRegence.com

myRegence.com is designed to help advise members on health care and lifestyle options, provide navigation through the health care system and reward those who make healthier choices. With myRegence.com, members can find all of their health-related resources in one place, including claims information, fitness and nutrition tips, medication summaries and other helpful information. Members can even earn Regence Reward points -- redeemable for gift certificates to hundreds of retailers -- just for actively taking charge of their health.

CONTACT: Mike Tatko of Regence, +1-208-798-2221, Cell, +1-208-791-2332, mike.tatko@regence.com

Web site: http://myRegence.com/ http://www.or.regence.com/