HOT BLAST: Health care with up-front pricing
Feb 20, 2014 | 1805 views |  0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
(AP Photo/David Goldman)
(AP Photo/David Goldman)
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We came across a fascinating story the other morning on NPR. It involved an effort in Colorado to make the prices for health care publicly available to consumers.

Edie Sonn, head of the Center for Improving Value in Health Care, told NPR:

Knowledge is power. And none of us have had much information about how much health care services actually cost, and how much we're getting for our money. And an all-payer claims database gives you that information.

Reporter Eric Whitney explains:

An all-payer claims database is basically a giant shoebox that collects a copy of every receipt for a health care service in a given state. Since doctors and hospitals generally won't tell people how much services cost, up front, the best way to figure it out is to get receipts from the places that pay the bills: insurance companies, Medicaid and Medicare, mostly.

The more that information is public, Sonn says, the more people will gravitate away from high-cost providers.

The CIVHC has an amazing map that breaks down the Colorado data by county, type of health care cost and type of insurance. Two things:

1. We could spend hours sifting through the data.

2. We wish there was a map like this for Alabama.

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