Blue Cross & Blue Shield's New Online Tool Helps Rhode Islanders Find Doctors and Hospitals While At Home Or On The Go

(Providence, RI, 8.15.2011)
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Need a doctor, hospital or urgent care center and not sure how to find one? Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is now offering the new Blue National Doctor & Hospital Finder® to all Rhode Islanders to search for providers on their computer or with an app for iPhone®, iPad® and iPod® Touch.

Developed by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, this free tool is available on BCBSRI.com to both members and non-members. It allows users to easily locate high-quality, in-network doctors and hospitals, both locally and nationwide.

"Whether your son comes down with a painful ear infection while vacationing out of state, or you need to help an aging parent find a cardiologist right here at home, our new Blue National Doctor & Hospital Finder makes it easier than ever to narrow down all the available options and get the right kind of care," said Jim Gallagher, BCBSRI assistant vice president of strategic marketing and innovation. "Rather than waiting with a young child for treatment in some out-of-state emergency room, for instance, you'll be able to use your mobile device to quickly locate a nearby, in-network pediatrician and get your child the medical treatment he needs. Instead of going through the phone book or relying on word-of-mouth referrals from friends and family, you'll be able to help your mom or dad identify a nearby heart specialist using your home computer."

According to Gallagher, the new online tool and app have search utilities that help users narrow down the available options by location, provider name and/or type of care. The Blue National Doctor & Hospital Finder also provides members with the locations of local urgent care centers, which is often a more affordable and convenient alternative to going to the emergency room for non-emergency care. Users also can narrow their search by distance, language spoken and whether a physician is accepting new patients.

The mobile app has GPS navigation, an interactive map and driving directions to make locating doctors and hospitals simple. Text and email options allow information collected during a search to be shared and saved. The "click-to call" feature dials a phone number with one tap on the phone's screen, eliminating the need to memorize a new, unfamiliar phone number.

A version of the Blue National Doctor & Hospital Finder app for Android™ smart phones will be available later this year.

For more information about the Blue National Doctor & Hospital Finder, visit BCBSRI.com. The mobile app is available for free download at the Apple iTunes store or at www.bcbs.com/mobile. While there is no charge for the app, rates from your wireless provider may apply.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

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