Price Transparency

Pete Celano, 18 March 2015


Over half of Americans want to compare healthcare prices, yet don’t know how to find the information they need, according to a March 2015 report from Public Agenda.


  • 56% of Americans have tried to find out how much they would have to pay out of pocket—not including a copay—or how much their insurer would have to pay a doctor or hospital, prior to getting care.
  • People with higher deductibles are more likely to have hunted for price information: 67% of those with deductibles of $500 to $3,000 and 74% of those with deductibles higher than $3,000 have sought price information before getting care.
  • A clear majority of respondents– 71% — indicated that higher prices do not necessarily indicate better care quality.

Of 2,010 Americans polled, 21% compared prices across multiple providers during the arc of their online research.  About a third only checked prices for a single provider.

But….  Think about Uber for a minute.  Were folks checking cab pricing much before Uber landed with a nuclear blast?  I doubt it, nor much after.

Perhaps American consumers only increasingly want two things, that the volumes of prose on Pricing Transparency might be obscuring:

More Convenience & Less Friction.

What if Transparency is a bit of a smokescreen?  If, in the medical arena, we had a new, low rung of the ladder– a hyper-convenient, low-friction way to onramp to care (hello, Uber in the business of a getting a ride), might that be enough?  Might that knock these heated discussions about “precision pricing” off the frontpage?

It’s here.  It’s called Virtual Visits– Doc to Doc, Doc to Patient, or as depicted below:  Doc to Doc to Patient.

Perhaps what American consumers really want even more than crisp/clear healthcare pricing is ACCESS anytime & anywhere, with a couple of clicks or finger-swipes.



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