Kaiser Health News writes: Two states – New Hampshire and California – are making inroads into revealing some of the biggest secrets of health care by publishing price information to help consumers comparison shop for doctors, dentists and prescription drugs.
New Hampshire, which already had the nation’s most advanced website allowing people to compare the cost of specific medical procedures, last week added prices for 16 dental procedures and 65 prescription drugs. The website, NHHealthCost.org, is run by the state insurance department and lets consumers see how much they would have to pay based on the price their insurer negotiated with each provider, rather than the sticker price that is charged. The site also shows the price uninsured people must pay.
California on Wednesday released an expanded version of its quality report cards on 154 large physician groups. Those cards, which already assess clinical quality and patient experiences, take a different tack than New Hampshire. Instead of drilling down on specific procedures, the report cards summarize the total cost of medical services run up by the average patient of each group. The medical groups care in total for more than 9 million people.