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Online Tools Produce Unreliable Cost Estimates

Scott and Kate Savett of Philadelphia wanted to keep insurance costs down, so opted for a high deductible plan and shopping around for medical care. When Kate was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in January, they wanted to find the best deal for care. They used an online tool provided through their insurance company to estimate procedure costs. The estimator gave a wide range of prices, a list of providers, and what would be charged under their insurance plan. Kate’s MRI test was estimated to be $500, and in reality, cost them $2,400. The tool also gave poor estimates on other procedures they needed. One time the procedure requested was not even listed.

Patients do want to find affordable medical care, and these online tools are becoming more popular, being offered by several insurance companies. The limit of the tool is to predict what exactly a physician will do during the exam or treatment and how they will bill for it. With medical costs historically hard to determine, price transparency is being mandated in several states.

MediBid takes the guess work out of shopping for medical care. With complete transparency, a patient who receives bids for a procedure can see all items that are included in the price, as well as the education and history of the physician or facility. With no insurance restrictions or billing confusion, self-pay patients will find MediBid the answer to simplifying the process of selecting a physician and saving money on their procedure – with all prices known up front.

 

http://khn.org/news/patients-want-to-price-shop-for-care-but-online-tools-unreliable/
Gordon, Elana. “Patients Want To Price-Shop For Care, But Online Tools Unreliable.” News. Kaiser Health News, 30 Nov 2015. Web. 6 Dec 2015.

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