I really like this idea, but … well, see after the quote.
It’s easy to compare prices on cameras, vacations, and homes. But in the United States, patients fly blind when paying for health care. People typically don’t find out how much any given medical procedure costs until well after they receive treatment, be it a blood draw or major surgery.
This lack of transparency has contributed to huge disparities in the cost of procedures. According to Castlight Health, a startup based in San Francisco, a colonoscopy costs anywhere from $563 to $3,967 within a single zip code. EKGs can range from $27 to $143, while the price for a set of three spinal x-rays varies from as little as $38 to as high as $162.
When someone else is picking up the tab, mystery pricing is not much of a problem. But these days, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at GruntDoc*
Over on Shrink Rap News, Roy wrote a post about proposed Medicare cuts. He continued the conversation here on Shrink Rap.
I want to expand on the discussion in what I hope will be easy-to-understand terms. Why would anyone who is not a doctor even care what Medicare reimburses their docs? Let me tell you why you might care.
Doctors all have one of four designated categories within the Medicare system:
1) The doc participates and accepts Medicare assignment. The fee for the service is set by Medicare, the patient makes a co-pay and the doctor bills Medicare and gets the rest of the fee from Medicare.
2) The doctor is “non-participating” –which is a deceptive term, because non-participating docs are within the Medicare system. The fee for the service is set by Medicare and is typically 5% less then the fee for participating docs, but the patient pays the Medicare fee in full to the doctor, the doctor files a claim with Medicare, and Medicare reimburses the patient for a portion of the fee.
3) The doctor has formally opted-out. In this case, Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Shrink Rap*