According to a recent white
paper published by Thomson Reuters , $36 billion dollars annually is wasted on
health care procedures that are considered shoppable. These procedures are defined
as shoppable because they are high-volume, non-urgent procedures and treatments that
consumers would plan for and schedule in advance, like a mammogram, colonoscopy or
Some key findings in this paper include:
Prices for these services are often 2-3 times higher
than the median price for the exact same procedure.
If the industry were to reduce prices for 300 common
procedures to their median price nationwide, total medical expenses would be reduced
by 3.5%, or $36 billion annually
A major driver of price variation is the site of service;
prices vary significantly by care setting and the percentage of services done in the
hospital verses an office setting.
Both the consumer and the provider are in the dark about
health care pricing. If and when the marketplace supports transparency, providers
will be able to set their price more rationally and consumers can be better shoppers
of health care services.