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July 13, 2015 | Leave a Comment
It’s difficult, if not impossible sometimes to find and compare actual costs when making major healthcare decisions? Why? It’s easy to compare the cost of a new car between two dealers. Or a gallon of milk between two grocers? Yet when making what are often the most critical decisions in one’s life, the information needed to make those decisions can be brutally difficult to access.
And often it doesn’t seem that much progress is being made. Despite theoretical efforts to make true costs associated with accessing healthcare more accessible, recent reports from the Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute show that once again, a majority of states (45 out of 50) received a failing grade of “F”.
Why? Is it that insurers are making this information difficult to obtain, as they see it as proprietary? Or Is it that providers of care are aren’t willing to broadcast information, in a marketplace where a percieved lack of competition exists? Or is it that the information a hospital may provide, really isn’t transparent anyway? A provider often quotes a different price for a procedure based on how the claim is processed and paid. One price for insurance, one for Medicare, one for cash and so on.
Regardless of how difficult or accurate, consumers can and should continue to compare pricing information. Click here for an article is a great read and includes some must-have price transparency websites to check out before getting any treatment.