Can You Really SHOP for Health Care?

Tuesday's USA Today reports on the confusion consumers are encountering as they try to follow the advice to "shop for the best health care value you can find."

Read the USA Today article.

Some of the problems that reporter Julie Appleby points out:

Most hospitals and doctors can't or won't quote a price for care.

Quality information — such as mortality and complication rates — is available for some hospitals and some procedures, but information on individual doctors is rare.

Even when prices are quoted, the data given might be nearly useless if they reflect "charges," which few people pay, rather than actual negotiated rates.

She also quotes a recent editorial in Modern Healthcare magazine: "One of the false notions … is that only if providers fess up about their true prices can consumers get the kind of choices they find at Travelocity and CarMax. … The reality is that the most costly health care decisions are made by sick, scared patients in emergencies."

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Published in: on May 10, 2006 at 5:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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