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Making Healthcare Prices Visible

Posted Apr 06 2009 11:15pm
You might have noticed that a lot of prices are missing from our OutofPocket.com directory.  OutofPocket is currently under construction and we appreciate your patience.  We are making some enhancements to the site and in this process; the majority of our price data is temporarily not searchable.  During the construction phase, what you will see when searching for prices on OutofPocket is a link to websites that publish health care prices.  Please be patient and check back in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I would like to encourage as many consumers as possible to post/share prices you paid for actual services, contact us about a great site to add to the directory or link to, or if you are a provider – send us your prices so we can include them in the directory.

Making Sense Out of Existing Data

Did you know that health care price data exists today --it's just not available to the public. I am passionate about bringing consumerism to health care, and dedicated to promoting price transparency.  My goal is to make sense of the existing price data to help consumers make informed choices. 

For CONSUMERS

  • Hunting down true out-of-pocket expenses for health care services – in advance, can be frustrating.  Unless you are an experienced data minter, this type of hunting can be intimidating and time-consuming.  If you are uninsured, under-insured, looking for an out-of-network provider, or have a high-deductible health plan, you are probably trying to make cost-effective choices before purchasing health care services.  And you are probably interested in knowing your true out of pocket cost for the services BEFORE you visit the provider.    That’s just being a good consumer.  You need useful and relevant tools to help you make good choices.

For INSURERS

  • You are the keeper of all the claims data for your members.  You know exactly the negotiated (contracted) price for every provider, for every service, for every different insurance plan you offer.  You also know how much of a member’s deductible has been met.  You have databases of prices paid for every service for every member and could make life a lot easier for your members and possibly change health care if you agreed to share this data to make it publically available.  Yet you insist on keeping this data a secret. 

For OUTOFPOCKET.COM

  • I am inviting consumers to post/share prices they paid in the directory.   Everyone wants to look up prices, but very few are willing to take a minute to post/share their prices.  We could wait years for legislation to pass, insurers to agree to make prices public, or we could do something today.  Consumers are invited (and encouraged!) to collaborate and share prices they paid on OutofPocket.com.  If enough consumers participate and share prices, consumers collectively will create a very powerful directory of true out-of-pocket prices.

For PROVIDERS

  • You have an opportunity to transform health care as we know it today.  You can help promote transparency by publishing your prices for services.   Why not let consumers know up front what your services will cost them?  OutofPocket.com invites you to include your prices/services in the directory - free of charge.  This not only promotes your practice, but also helps consumers understand what they will be required to pay for services at your facility.

Imagine how easy it would be to comparison shop for health care services if relevant data was available. If consumers had access to true healthcare price data, comparison shopping for health care services could be a lot like your experience shopping for a book on Amazon.com, booking a vacation on Travelocity.com or purchasing an item on eBay.com. 

Tell a friend about OutofPocket.com and be sure to add prices you paid for health care services to this directory.   Not only will you be sharing data, but you will be contributing to a powerful directory of prices that will help promote more affordable health care services.

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