Finally – Medical Prices Revealed

Price transparencyI strongly believe in consumer-driven health care. The first step is to know just what you can expect to pay for any given health care product or service. There is no set rate for many services or treatments you need, and for many of us, we are left to wonder just what our final bill will be. For example, a colonoscopy can range from $400 to $2,800 depending on your provider of choice.

Colorado Steps Up to Price Transparency

Virtually no other industry provides products and services without clearly stating the cost to the customer ahead of time. Why should health care be any different? All of us have had the experience of entering an emergency room or hospital with our final bills being a complete mystery at the time of service.

Price transparency should be readily accessible to health care consumers, just as it is for any other product or service we purchase.

The good news is that Colorado is one of 11 states to adopt a health care price database which is built from a collection of receipts from health care services in the state.

You can begin your pricing research on Colorado All Payer Claims Database here: While this database probably has more information than you’ll need (and in nitty-gritty detail), it’s a step in recognizing the need for open information on a consumer level.

Price-Comparison Websites – Not Just For Jetsetters Anymore

While that Colorado database is not really designed as a consumer site, there are some excellent places to go to get medical pricing information. An estimated 146 million travel reservations are made annually through Internet price-comparison sites, so can health care be far behind?

Travelers have turned the online travel-booking business into a 160+ billion-dollar industry. Being able to see side-by-side price comparisons is a very attractive feature for consumers. Actually, it’s reported that about 20 percent of these travel bookings were a result of online price-comparison websites like Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, Kayak – to name a few.

Next time you need non-emergency medical services, I urge you to shop around. Be an informed consumer. Internet price-sorting websites such as DealWell, HealthCareBlueBook, HealthInReach and are popular destinations for health care consumers looking for the best prices.

What are your thoughts about price transparency? Have you used one of the Medical price comparison tools, and how has it worked for you?

  Date posted: Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Category: Price Transparency

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