Price Transparency Tools On the Rise in the Health Care Industry

April 20, 2015 in News

Entrepreneurs, health care providers and insurers increasingly are developing and releasing price transparency tools for patients, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Details of Price Transparency Tools

According to the Times, new pricing tools are consistently being developed as patient demand for such information increases.

Such tools include:

  • Clear Health Costs, which queries providers for prices of up to 35 common procedures or displays Medicare reimbursement rates for certain procedures in a given area when a provider’s price is not available;
  • MediBid, which allows providers to bid on needed medical procedures posted by patients for a fee; and
  • Pokitdok, which allows users to search for the 50 most shopped procedures among 40,000 providers who have submitted their pricing information to the site.

Peter LePort, a general surgeon who participates with MediBid, said, “The demand is out there. People in general know how to shop, and they are just learning how to shop in the medical marketplace.”

Industry Lacks Comprehensive Database

Despite the growing number of health care price transparency tools in the market, finding accurate information is difficult, and the industry still lacks a comprehensive price database, according to the Times.

David Lansky, CEO of Pacific Business Group on Health, said the reason is because competition among providers and insurers discourages them from sharing their cost information.

“The people who pay and are paid don’t want to disclose their prices to the public,” Lansky said (Zamosky, Los Angeles Times, 4/19).

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