Let us be doubly thankful to Massachusetts.
Anyone with private health insurance in the state can now go to his or her health insurer’s website and find the price of everything from an office visit to an MRI to a Cesarean section. For the first time, health care prices are public.
If you have health insurance you’re likely used to making two types of price-based decisions when it comes to care:
1.) Primary care problem: How much sinus infection misery warrants a $35 copay to my doc? Answer (for me) 3-4 days.
2.) Emergent care problem: How much money am I willing to pay to have my burst appendix removed? Answer: ALL OF THE MONEY WHAT IS MONEY PAIN MEDS STAT.
But, for expensive and not especially time sensitive diagnostics and procedures transparency in pricing is so pleasingly sensible. The article makes the point that health care is not a commodity to be bought on price alone and I totally agree, but up ’til now we’ve had no way to collect data connecting price and quality. This is a step in the right direction.
Pro tip on buying your health care based on price–If you are buying on the exchanges/marketplace please do not make the Travelocity sort by cheapest yup I’ll take that one mistake. That is how you end up with a $10,000 deductible and 40% coinsurance on everything. You will not be happy. As I was not happy when I picked a hotel in Richmond that way. Hourly rates. Somehow under I95. Feral tomcats.
Choose a better fate.