CHICAGO, March 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new program from American Imaging Management (AIM) delivers valuable information to physicians and consumers regarding the price of advanced diagnostic imaging exams and the quality of the facilities where those exams are performed, offering significant cost savings and increased satisfaction.
As consumers assume greater responsibility for health care spending, there is a growing need for information that offers a clearer understanding of the options that exist for them. AIM, a leading specialty benefit management company and operating subsidiary of WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP), is bringing this information to consumers through OptiNet, the company's member transparency resource. The member-transparency component of OptiNet is initially being used for advanced diagnostic imaging procedures such as CT scans and MRIs that are administered in an outpatient setting.
"Advanced diagnostic imaging exams are very expensive and often patients and their physicians are not aware that price can vary dramatically depending on where the exam is performed," said Brandon Cady, president and chief executive officer of AIM. "We routinely see instances where different facilities located in the same area – with the same type of equipment and the same type of physicians reading the results – have prices that vary by more than a thousand dollars."
In order to promote more informed decision making by patients and physicians, AIM launched the member transparency component of OptiNet as a concierge-type program that delivers pricing and capability information directly to health plan members, using data submitted by health plans and the imaging facilities themselves.
OptiNet operates in tandem with AIM's clinical appropriateness program. When a p