In most cases, the actual price information for health-related treatments is not currently made public.
Price transparency makes cost of service information available to health care consumers.
Supporters of consumer-directed health plans believe that greater price transparency will
make consumers more price sensitive and more prudent purchasers and thus save consumers and employers money.
There are a number of efforts underway to provide consumers with the means to take cost
considerations into their decision making process.
Many states are working towards providing consumers with cost information, in some cases,
for instance in Maine (DirigoHealth), providers are required to publish their prices for common procedures.
Other state sponsored efforts might publish a relative ranking of costs (low, medium, high),
for instance Massachusetts.
Web Site References:
- http://www.mass.gov/healthcareqc - Health care quality and cost information for Massachusetts-based providers.
- http://www.wipricepoint.org/ - WHA’s (Wisconsin Hospital Association) Wisconsin PricePoint system.
- http://hospitalpricing.sd.gov/ - South Dakota’s hospital pricing website (currently lists billing contacts; pricing lists to be published in 2006)