INDIANAPOLIS and NEW YORK, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- WellPoint, Inc., the
nation's largest health benefits company, and Zagat Survey, LLC today
announced the upcoming launch of a new online survey tool that will allow
consumers to share their physician experiences with others. A first in the
health care arena, WellPoint will begin to offer the online tool using the
Zagat approach to select members in its Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield
licensed subsidiaries in January 2008.
"Zagat Survey has a reputation for being the world's most trusted
source for information about where to eat, drink, stay and play," said
Angela F. Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint. "Our partnership will
enable WellPoint to capitalize on Zagat's methodology to benefit the health
care industry, and will help WellPoint harness the power of the nearly 35
million members in its health plan subsidiaries to share and learn from
their experiences with their doctors."
The new survey tool will provide a vehicle for members to review and
evaluate physicians based on a set of distinct qualities, creating a
trusted resource to support informed member decision-making. Through this
partnership, Zagat is helping WellPoint address an unmet need for
peer-to-peer interaction among health care consumers, enabling consumers to
provide feedback on their experiences with individual physicians and then
rate their experience on Zagat's renowned 30-point scale.
"Partnering with a trusted brand like Zagat Survey supports WellPoint's
vision to deliver the most comprehensive health and wellness information to
our members in an accessible, easy-to-understand format, and builds on our
commitment to provide members with the data and tools necessary to help
them take a more active role in their health care decision making," said
Jason Gorevic, WellPoint's chief marketing and product officer.
"Peer-to-peer interactions are a critical component of our consumer
The online survey tool will allow consumers to review their doctor visits
In addition, the survey will also feature a comments section, allowing
members to share comments to expand on their ratings. The survey and
results will be available free of charge to members via their health plans'
For each network physician, the online entry will display contact
information, ratings on a 30-point scale for each of the four categories,
and the percentage of members who recommend that physician. The most recent
comments will be displayed first, and members will have the option to rate
the usefulness of comments and report suspicious comments. These categories
are solely designed to reflect a consumer's experience with a physician and
not to reflect the quality of care they received.
"Our surveys put consumers in touch with the people they trust the most
-- other consumers," said Nina Zagat, co-Founder and co-Chair of Zagat
Survey. "With this tool, WellPoint is helping to give consumers the power
to make smart decisions about selecting doctors based on other people's
About WellPoint, Inc.
WellPoint's mission is to improve the lives of the people it serves and
the health of its communities. WellPoint, Inc. is the largest health
benefits company in terms of commercial membership in the United States.
Through its nationwide networks, the company delivers a number of leading
health benefit solutions through a broad portfolio of integrated health
care plans and related services, along with a wide range of specialty
products such as life and disability insurance benefits, pharmacy benefit
management, dental, vision, behavioral health benefit services, as well as
long term care insurance and flexible spending accounts. Headquartered in
Indianapolis, Indiana, WellPoint is an independent licensee of the Blue
Cross and Blue Shield Association and serves its members as the Blue Cross
licensee for California; the Blue Cross and Blue Shield licensee for
Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Missouri
(excluding 30 counties in the Kansas City area), Nevada, New Hampshire, New
York (as Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield in 10 New York City metropolitan and
surrounding counties and as Empire Blue Cross or Empire Blue Cross Blue
Shield in selected upstate counties only), Ohio, Virginia (excluding the
city of Fairfax, the town of Vienna and the area east of State Route 123),
Wisconsin; and through UniCare. Additional information about WellPoint is
available at www.wellpoint.com.
About Zagat Survey, LLC
Known as the "wildly popular" "burgundy bible", Zagat Survey is the
world's most trusted source for information about where to eat, drink, stay
and play. With more than 300,000 surveyors, Zagat Survey rates and reviews
restaurants, hotels, nightlife, movies, music, golf, shopping and a range
of other entertainment categories and is lauded as the "most up-to-date",
"comprehensive" and "reliable" guide ever published. Zagat content is
available to consumers wherever and whenever they need it: in book format,
on ZAGAT.com, via the downloadable ZAGAT TO GO for smartphones and on the
mobile web with ZAGAT.mobi. For more information, visit ZAGAT.com
SOURCE WellPoint, Inc.