Good article about transparency in the medical business. Also provides interesting website to comparison shop for medical procedures: www.healthcarebluebook.com
Editor’s Note: One of our readers sent the following comments –
Bill, This is very interesting. The owner of the Blue Book Health Care indicated in this article that he gave a presentation to the TMA in Fort Worth . I was actually in the room when he gave this to the Socioeconomics Council, of which I am a board member.
I think price transparency will evolve once more providers get comfortable with it. The problem is that none of us knows what our true fee really is since we charge one thing, and get different reimbursements from multiple payors. What this Jefferson group is really doing is simply offering an advertised cash discount price. But then, how do they handle the various levels of care? A provider can’t really quote a specific fee up front because they don’t really know how complex the problem is going to be, whether it needs an X-Ray or lab. And we have a number of people who come in for one thing, and then as the doctor is walking out of the room, they say, “Oh, by the way, doctor, I have this one other thing……..”. So it makes it hard to arrive at a specific fee ahead of time.
But I suppose over time, these things will work their way out and there will be some form of posted pricing. It may have lots of asterisks.