The Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI) has launched a website listing cost information for more than 70 common health conditions and services based on claims data from four major insurers, the nonprofit organization announced yesterday.
The site, Guroo.com, gets its pricing information from claims data from Aetna, Assurant Health, Humana and UnitedHealth, which together insure more than 40 million Americans. The site is free and open to anyone, regardless of who insurers them.
Price transparency has proven beneficial for both insurers and consumers, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Consumers actually know what procedures cost, while insurers can hold healthcare providers accountable for setting fair prices; in that sense, price transparency leads to lower claims costs.
In its initial rollout, Guroo focuses on services that a patient is likely to shop for in advance, as opposed to emergency services, according to the Washington Post. It also does not break down what a consumer will pay for a service vs. what an insurer will pay. HCCI Executive Director David Newman described Guroo in the Post as a price guide.
"With rising prices and more consumers enrolled in high-deductible health plans, consumers are eager to get the best value out of every dollar they spend on healthcare," Newman said in the announcement.
Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealth first announced their joint price transparency initiative in 2014, FierceHealthPayer previously reported. Assurant Health has joined since the initial announcement, and HCCI invites other insurers to participate as well.
Guroo plans to add quality data, prescription drug costs and a Spanish version of the site later this year, the announcement said. HCCI also intends to partner with states that have embarked on all-payer claims database initiatives to further its price and quality transparency work, the statement said.
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