Healthcare – An expensive purchase without a price tag | Triad Business Journal

Healthcare is often one of the most expensive and important purchases an individual can make. We often hear rumblings about cost and how we must become better consumers of healthcare. But how is that possible when we really don’t know how much things actually cost?

When we go to the doctor for lab work or an x-ray, there is usually not a price list posted. Copay plans, especially for prescription drugs, have taught consumers that a prescription costs $20 or $40 or whatever that magic number might be when. In reality, the drug might retail for $200 or more for someone without prescription drug coverage in their medical insurance package. When physicians sign a contract with large insurers and discount their fees, it muddies the waters of transparency and makes it difficult to know how much things really cost.

The concept of “price transparency” in healthcare has always been a confusing concept to the patient mainly because of the complexities surrounding where the service is provided, what kind of insurance the patient has, and what the insurance will actually cover. Lack of pricing transparency has become a rallying cry for those who point out that with the precipitous rise in high deductible health plans (HDHPs), patients now have much more skin in the game financially and deserve to know what a procedure will cost and what they may be responsible for paying after the insurance claim has been filed and paid. [1]

As price transparency concerns and the rise of HDHP’s, more information is becoming available to the consumer. This includes not only cost, but also quality. Many insurance websites post in-network physicians along with quality, frequency of procedures and associated costs.

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Healthcare – An expensive purchase without a price tag – Greensboro – Triad Business Journal.