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New Price Transparency Tools

Posted Apr 06 2009 11:15pm

Two new websites that promote price transparency were recently announced, New Choice Health and Leslie’s List.    Transparency tools enable consumers to make informed choices before purchasing medical services.   I am always thrilled to discover new transparency tools consumers can use and you should definitely check out both of these websites.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

Keep in mind that these websites provide estimates /average prices for services.   Health care pricing is very complicated and it’s difficult for consumers to know what their actual out-of-pocket expenses are in advance.   Determining actual out-of-pocket costs requires knowledge of fee schedules, contracted prices, and understanding details of different insurance plans including coinsurance, deductibles, co-pays.   Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to easily look this information up online?   How many people do you know that would purchase electronics or a vacation package knowing the “average” price, rather than the “true price?”

 

Both of these websites are worth checking out.

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Leslie’s List---  a brand new web site to help consumers find the best price on prescription medicines, medical testing and other healthcare services in the Chicago area.   This site is a gold mine of affordable providers in the Chicago area and targets consumers that are uninsured or underinsured. The founder is a physician practicing internal medicine in Chicago, Illinois.   Her mission is to provide information that enables all patients, especially the uninsured and underinsured, to find more affordable medications and health care services.   The site claims to provide accurate and up-to-date information but they also recommend you call and confirm all information before visiting a provider

 

NewChoiceHealth-- is a medical cost comparison site I discovered thanks to the OutofPocket champions that alerted me to this new tool.   The interface is extremely well done and the information is very easy to find.   According to the founder, the website includes estimates of the cost of medical services for an insured consumer based on “past claims experience, fee schedules and how the large insurers generally negotiate prices with providers.”  Consumers may be able to negotiate lower, or be charged higher, rates based upon their particular circumstances.  New Choice Health hopes to educate consumers about the wide-range of prices for health care services, so they realize that they need to shop before they purchase.  They are empowering consumers with medical cost knowledge, enabling them to make more informed healthcare purchasing decisions.  The site provides “estimates” or “average prices” so before you visit one of the providers listed on this site, make sure you call to confirm all information before you visit the provider.

 

 

 

 

 

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