A colleague recently asked if I could offer advice for their friend with ankle trouble. The friend was in need of ankle surgery, but the price tag seemed steep. I had to admit, it’s very hard to compare prices in health care.
There is a website that gives you a rough idea of the fair price in your area. It has some prices but not others. The prices vary depending on what insurance you have: www.fairhealthconsumer.org.
There is also a site that gives you an average national price: health.costhelper.com.
Finally, you can look here to see if a specific doctor overcharges (Medicare) for his or her services: projects.propublica.org/treatment.
There is a great series by Elisabeth Rosenthal called “Paying Till It Hurts.” One article suggested flying to Europe is cheaper and better for some surgeries: nyti.ms/1FW9Klu.
If we had clear prices in the US, and knew who did a better job, we could shop around. Sadly, we rarely know the real price, and rarely know who does a better job. Unfortunately, most players in the health industry want to keep prices a secret, as it helps their bottom line. We should demand better.
Barbara Meier schreibt seit vielen Jahren für die NPAlliance Ratgeber und Testberichte. Dabei legt sie großen Wert auf die Ausführlichkeit sowie Richtigkeit ihrer Artikel. Sie zählt zu den wenigen Experten in ihrem Gebiet und hat sich über die letzten Jahren einen Namen in der Gesundheitsbranche gemacht.