Health care prices should be transparent

Total invested:  For:32 , Against:2
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15 W$ Invested 2w 20h ago
My personal experience is that is very difficult to find the price of many health care procedures. Some procedures (like MRIs) are in a competitive environment and prices can easily be found on the internet or with a phone call. However, it is difficult to find the prices of many routine procedures. When I ask about price, I seldom get a concrete answer. As a consumer, I am interested in the full price and the price I will have to pay with my insurance. Opaque prices make it easier for providers to confuse consumers, price discriminate, and take advantage of desperate people. One simple step to make health care more affordable would be a requirement for health care providers to provide a menu of services and prices. I realize that complications arise and selling health care is not the same as selling hotdogs, but providers could do a better job at revealing prices before the procedure is performed. A government regulation making prices clear and accessible would give consumers the the ability to shop around. This would put downward pressure on prices.
Moderators: Henryk A. Kowalczyk
Last Edit: 1w 6d ago by Super User .

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2 W$ Invested 1w 5d ago
My view on the subject of price transparency is that the objective is not only to provide the health care consumer with useful information about where to go for a test, procedure or medical treatment, but to provide other providers with that information so they can adjust their prices accordingly. If I need a CAT scan, price is only one of the factors that help me make my decision. Distance to travel, hours that the facility is open, how much effort it takes to make an appointment, availability, all of these factors play a role. But if I can see that the most convenient place is also ten times the price of someplace that might take just a bit more effort to get to, I'll make the effort to save the money. Knowing that this is how the market works, that closest location should be willing to adjust their prices to improve their market share.

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2 W$ Invested 1w 6d ago
The problem is that posted prices make it difficult to "price discriminate."

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2 W$ Invested 1w 5d ago
How so?

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10 W$ Invested 1w 6d ago
I agree. I used to have a high deductible insurance with a health-savings account, so most of the time it was cheaper for me to pay out of pocket. Whenever I needed a test done, my doctor would help me find the best prices. Now, when the clinic or hospital tells me that a test or procedure is not covered by my insurance and I ask what the cost is, the only answer I get is "I don't know but here is a number to another clinic who takes your insurance". I am glad that there are clinics that take my insurance but given that I am not covered for everything that I could possibly need I would like the freedom to shop around just as I do with everything else. And I agree that having more transparency when it comes to health care prices will start a chain reaction of fair-price practices.

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2 W$ Invested 1w 6d ago
Price-discrimination based on whether you have insurance or not... Third party payment is probably the main culprit.

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2w 11h ago
Welcome to the first challenge at Virtual Agora.
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Challenge Total Investment
Agree:32 W$
Disagree:2 W$
Challenge resolved as TRUE