Tags: website | shopping | healthcare | comparison

New Website Allows Comparison Shopping for Medical Procedures

By    |   Monday, 02 Mar 2015 02:34 PM

If buying healthcare in the U.S. was like shopping at the supermarket, none of the products on store shelves would carry price tags, costs would vary depending on who’s buying and where the items are placed, and bills would not arrive until months later.

But a new online tool, developed by the nonprofit and nonpartisan Health Care Cost Institute, and three insurance companies, sets out to change that reality. The Website called Guroo.com lists average costs for 70 common healthcare diagnoses and medical tests in most states, NPR reports. 
 
What’s more, the Website shows the actual cost — not published charges, which are often discounted — based on an analysis of what insurance companies actually pay.
 
Among the services listed: costs for knee surgery, having a baby, having an MRI.
 
"This has the potential to be a game changer," said Katherine Hempstead, who analyzes health insurance for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. "It's good for uninsured people. It's good for people with high deductibles. It's good for any person [who is] kind of wondering: If I go to see the doctor for such-and-such, what might happen next?"
 
Guroo was developed by the HCI, working with UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana to let members of these health plans use a companion Website to see how differing prices set by each provider affect copayments.
 
Advocates say it is an important step toward transparency in medical pricing.

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A new Website lists average costs for 70 common healthcare diagnoses and medical tests in most state, in an effort to bring greater transparency to service costs.
website, shopping, healthcare, comparison
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2015-34-02
Monday, 02 Mar 2015 02:34 PM
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