Calif. medical group among first to offer price list

A California medical group has become one of the first large U.S. practices to publish prices for common procedures. To date, a growing list of hospitals have begun to post pricing, but medical practices have not jumped on the bandwagon as enthusiastically. Torrance, CA-based HealthCare Partners Medical Group, a 500-physician primary care practice, has posted fees for 58 common procedures on its site, including chest X-rays, physical exams and flu vaccinations. The group's execs have named prices that are higher than what Medicare and Medicaid will reimburse, but lower than or equal to prices private health plans pay, representing the practice's costs plus a margin varying from procedure to procedure, said chief executive Robert Margolis. The group said it's hoping to help patients with high deductibles prepare for their out-of-pocket costs.

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