Prices: High, Confusing, and Opaque. Would Transparency Even Help?

May 2, 2019

(Managed Care Magazine) – Of course, when you’re sick or injured, it’s no joking matter. “Don’t be afraid to push” to find out what a medical service you’re offered will actually cost, Elisabeth Rosenthal, MD, counseled consumer readers in her 2017 book An American Sickness. But that push can be Sisyphean. Rosenthal told of a man who had to struggle for a year and a half to find out from a dozen-plus Rhode Island labs what they charged for certain basic blood tests. The fact that he was the state’s commissioner of health, in charge of licensing the labs, didn’t seem to help. (When at last revealed, the prices varied by a factor of 20.)

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