Well not really, but what if the cost for medical procedures were advertised the same way that everything else is advertised: “Buy One Chest MRI and Get the Second Half Off.”
In an increasingly consumer-driven market, the need to treat healthcare like other consumer products is becoming more and more appealing. Something the industry is slowly realizing. The Memphis Commercial Appeal reports “more healthcare providers are trying to publish price information that could help to give consumers a better understanding of purchasing care. Purchasing health care, like many other things, comes down to cost and quality. But patients now don’t have easy and precise tools to help them shop for health care like they do for, say, a new car. The glaring difference between the two, of course, is that consumers likely would not be sick or die without a new car.”
Tyler Brannen, a health policy analyst with the New Hampshire Insurance Department says that at first “some providers and insurers were uncomfortable with the concept” but recently “most have embraced the initiative as a step forward in the area of transparency.” This approach has the potential to completely transform how we interact with healthcare, by helping us make more informed decisions so that we can make greater use of the benefits we’re already paying for.