Scheduled to launch in early 2015, the Health Care Cost Institute’s free online tool will give consumers access to data on provider prices and quality
It’s a significant sign of the times when three of the nation’s biggest health insurance companies agree to share data on healthcare prices and utilization specifically so that consumers can access this information. This will advance price transparency. It will also put more pressure on clinical laboratories to make it easy for consumers to see the prices of medical laboratory tests in advance of services.
This new price-transparency project includes Aetna (NYSE: ATE), UnitedHealthcare (NYSE: UNH), and Humana (NYSE: HUM). The three health insurers are partnering with the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), a nonprofit organization that maintains a database on healthcare cost and utilization.
The insurers will share healthcare price data. HCCI plans to provide the general public free, online access to this information, beginning in early 2015. (more…)
Employers and health insurers want more consumers use healthcare cost estimator tools and pride when choosing a hospital, physician, or clinical laboratory
Having put millions of consumers into high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) as one way to control healthcare costs, both employers and health insurers are now challenged to help these same consumers do better at using price and quality factors when selecting providers.
One solution to this problem is to encourage physicians to play a greater role in helping their patients use price and quality when it is time to select a provider. Obviously, these decisions can involve which clinical laboratory or anatomic pathology practice a patient should select when he or she needs medical laboratory testing.
Medibid.com is typical of new companies that help consumers identify providers with the best combination of low price and high quality
Should anyone be surprised that high insurance deductibles are motivating patients to shop for the best value on all sorts of healthcare services—including medical laboratory tests? One way consumers can shop for the lowest price is to utilize new web sites that allow providers to bid for the patient’s business!
Potential Business Opportunity for Clinical Labs and Pathology Groups
This new class of websites represents a business opportunity for clinical laboratory organizations and anatomic pathology groups. Essentially, these websites use real-time auctions to help consumers select the provider of their choice for all types of healthcare services, including medical laboratory tests. (more…)