Monday, April 1, 2013 10:06 am
by PNN | 0 comments
With rising healthcare costs and consumers likely paying a greater share of their medical bills, Los Angeles doctors and local hospitals will feel the pressure to make information about healthcare prices more readily available, according to news reports.
This month the nonprofit group Catalyst for Payment Reform issued a report on medical pricing that graded states’ efforts to provide useful pricing information. California got a grade D and 36 states received Ds or Fs.
Under a state law that took effect in 2006, California hospitals must publish average charges for common procedures on the website of the California Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development. However, experts say that typically these indicate what hospitals charge, not what they’re paid.
More medical sites continue to spring up to help consumers with medical price shopping, which will translate into more comparative price shopping for doctors.
For instance, SaveOnMedical.com offers consumers a way to compare prices and quality ratings for services, such as MRIs and X-rays, through a list of providers.
Pricing sites such as HealthBlueBook.com and NewChoiceHealth.com will allow consumers to get average costs that insurance companies pay for inpatient and outpatient procedures. This will allow consumers to negotiate with doctors.
Matt Schneider, co-founder of SaveOnMedical.com, noted in a news article that consumers often pay less for surgeries done at independent medical centers vs. hospitals.