On this blog, we've discussed how cost comparison tools could become a popular resource for patients to weigh their medical care options. As medical debt continues to present concerns for Americans in every demographic, comparison portals on the Internet could help demystify the real cost of treatments and procedures before patients commit to them.
A new site called Guroo, launched this week with data from United Healthcare, Humana, Aetna and Assurant Health, says it helps increase transparency for medical costs among consumers. By giving general information about the sticker price of operations and other procedures, the site could make it easier for individuals to survey the market for affordable care.
"Anyone can use the site without charge to get a better idea of the baseline prices for health-care services in their area, based on the actual prices that these insurers pay to providers," explains Jason Millman of The Washington Post. "Guroo's data won't tell the whole story for patient costs, though. The site doesn't break down what a consumer pays for services versus what the insurer pays. It's better to think of the price platform as more of a guide."
By giving baselines for care costs, consumers can make more informed decisions about their medical choices in terms of cost. This can help individuals determine which treatments are most appropriate.
Cost comparison sites may help clarify an opaque market for consumers, but medical debt continues to put a strain on personal finance. As a result, health care administrators may find their caseloads overwhelmed with volume, creating a backlog of work that drowns productivity. When those administrators outsource receivables management, they're given the freedom to focus on high-priority cases.