A new website called CarePay hopes to help patients and providers alike to obtain more transparency about the cost of health care procedures.
CarePay’s price comparison tool allows you to enter the town or ZIP code where you seek health care, plus the procedure you need. After doing so, you can find a range of prices for that procedure in your community.
In zeroing in on prices, CarePay uses data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a division of the federal government. However, the site notes that providers typically charge higher rates and advises that you use the data it provides to negotiate your own price with providers.
Carepay also hopes patients will upload their medical bills, “which will be posted to the provider, thus allowing other patients to gain real-time knowledge of the actual cost of a specific procedure,” the website says.
CarePay even hopes health care providers will share their own prices. According to the site:
“The CarePay price comparison tool was designed to help patients get better deals for their healthcare. Providers are also encouraged to post their self-pay pricing which will ultimately draw new patients to their practice. Armed with this information, patients may contact chosen providers to negotiate an affordable self-pay price.”
Other health care price comparison tools
CarePay is hardly the first website of its kind. As we note in “99% of Us Make This Costly Health Care Mistake,” other medical pricing transparency websites include:
Medicare, the federal health insurance program primarily reserved for people age 65 and older, introduced a Procedure Price Lookup tool last year, as we detailed in “New Medicare Tool Lets You Compare Prices of Outpatient Procedures.”
There are also websites devoted to helping consumers shop around for prescription drugs. To learn about them, check out “6 Websites That Will Slash Your Prescription Drug Costs.”
How do you try to tame high health care costs? Share your advice in comments below or on our Facebook page.
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