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300 “Shoppable” Health Care Procedures

Posted Feb 28 2012 1:59pm
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 MRI.

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.

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