Castlight, ClearHealthCosts and more: GigaOm on transparency

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

We’re on GigaOm today!

“As health care costs rise and employers shift to high-deductible health plans that require their employees to bear a greater share of health care costs, companies like Castlight are trying to boost transparency and bring a new wave of consumerism to health care. Castlight, which has raised $181 million in venture capital and is believed by many to be the next digital health company to go public, is a leader in this space. But other companies addressing transparency issues in healthcare include ClearCost Health, Clear Health Costs and HealthInReach.” Ki Mae Heussner, “Castlight hopes new drug shopping tool is ‘stepping stone’ to more health care consumerism “. GigaOm, March 20, 2013

We’re pleased to be mentioned in the same piece with these companies.

Transparency, of course, has many different meanings to different people.

Castlight has information that’s available only to people who are employees of companies contracting with Castlight for its services, so it’s transparency for a price.

ClearCost Health (more about their name later) is also business-oriented.

HealthInReach has dental and cosmetic procedure pricing; to get an actual price, at an actual provider, apparently you have to book a procedure on the site. The site says it’s free to patients, so one assumes that the providers pay for their presence on the site, or pay by procedure, or something.

The site says: “At HealthInReach, doctors use detailed profiles to showcase their practices to patients seeking care. Patients can book appointments online and receive pre-negotiated discounted rates immediately with a credit card. Doctors receive payment as soon as the visit is complete.  By providing a better way for patients and doctors to meet, we are able to provide the best prices for healthcare services.”

And then there’s us: Cash or self-pay prices. Providers’ names, addresses and phone numbers.

Ask: How much will it cost? We’ll tell you.