FL health system offers gifts to patients who share rivals' pricing data

A Florida health system has begun offering $100 gas cards to patients who are willing to bring in bills that show what competitors charge for key procedures. Specifically, it's looking for price information from hospitals in Brevard County, FL, where competitors include Holmes Regional Medical Center, Parrish Medical Center and Cape Canaveral Hospital.

The provider, Wuesthoff Health Systems of Rockledge, FL, will give people who submit a competitor's Explanation of Benefits form in a given surgical or treatment category, up to a maximum of three cards per person. To date, the hospital has been given about 160 EOB forms, with about half being eligible for the gas card reward.

Wuesthoff says it will use the data to compare its rates for services and procedures covered by health insurers to those of its rivals. It also plans to make its prices available on the web. However, observers note that it will be difficult for Wuesthoff to compare some prices, such as those for cardiac surgery, as the price varies depending on the clinical status of the patient.

To learn more about this effort:
- read this Orlando Sentinel piece

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