Depending on the hospital, the doctors and the carrier, the cost of tests, procedures and other treatments can vary greatly. For example, a colonoscopy can range anywhere between $1,500 and $5,000; a spinal fusion can cost as much as $50,000 according to a recent study from Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
While providers, carriers and other stakeholders are attempting to make healthcare prices more transparent to consumers, the process has proven difficult. Last month, 17 carriers in Wisconsin vowed to provide consumers with estimates of out-of-pocket costs before they received treatment. However, the insurers did not promise to disclose the total price of a procedure, test or treatment, or how it compares to prices charged by other hospitals or doctors. Arguably, carriers and providers may want to control the data. But at the same time, prices can vary based on patient recovery times and the efficiency of the care provided, among other factors. According to Deloitte, making prices more accessible to consumers is not going to be an overnight innovation.
- see the story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel