MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: As there are increasing numbers of high-deductible plans and those with high rates of co-insurance, patients are increasingly expected to help contain the cost of their health care by being savvy health care consumers. We set out to determine how easy or hard it is to find healthcare prices online.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response: When searching for health care prices online for non-emergent procedures less than one in five websites yield local price estimates relevant to the intervention in question. When using Google and Bing to search for health care prices very few price transparency websites appeared (just over one in five search results was a price transparency site) and those that did often required a subscription for relevant information.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Our findings show that price transparency is not keeping up with these new health insurance plans, and consumers require better access to health care information.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?
Response: We need to promote health care policies that make it easier for consumers to determine the price of their medical care, in time to inform their health care choices.
MedicalResearch.com: Thank you for your contribution to the MedicalResearch.com community.
Allison Kratka, Charlene A. Wong, Riley Herrmann, Kathryn Hong, Aleena Karediya, Iris Yang, Peter A. Ubel. Finding Health Care Prices Online—How Difficult Is It to Be an Informed Healthcare Consumer?. JAMA Intern Med. Published online December 04, 2017. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.6841
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