HospitalFare.com is a simple website that lets users look up the out-of-pocket costs at hospitals for specific diagnoses. Since I haven’t seen anything else quite like it, I though it was worth a feature here.
Out-of-Pocket Costs and Price Transparency
Price transparency in healthcare is a critical part of getting getting the US out of the healthcare cost mess we are currently in. Although out-of-pocket costs are a small percentage of overall costs, in theory health care consumers care about them and prefer to keep them low.
Out-of-pocket costs may be co-insurance, co-payment, deductibles, and all of the services and supplies not covered by your policy.
HospitalFare.com uses publicly available data from Medicare to compare out-of-pocket costs. Browsing through the data on HospitalFare.com, the first thing that strikes me is the wide range of out-of-pocket costs between different hospitals in the same geographic area. One hospital may have costs three times higher than another for the same type of patient visit. In addition, some hospitals do not appear to be consistently high or low across as diagnosis groups. A hospital may be high in some and low in others.
I wonder if knowing there might be a $500 difference in out-of-pocket costs from having a procedure at one hospital and having it at another would make a difference in where consumers choose to go.
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