Summary: Cost transparency takes many forms. This Wisconsin Hospital Association pricing page has what appear to be low, medium and high prices for a range of services, for hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers. What’s missing: Standalone places like independent radiology centers or testing labs. What’s also missing: The averages don’t tell you much about what you’ll really pay; in fact, they look like Chargemaster prices at first glimpse. What’s useful: There is a spot on the spreadsheet for “number of cases,” which is great, because the number of cases is quite helpful if you’re choosing a surgeon — you want the surgeon who’s done 300 cases, and not the one who’s done 3. The problem with these results, though, is that often there is no data. What’s unhelpful: The classifications are extremely broad (“Blood test that measures several substances,” “basic blood test that measures several substances,” “Pelvic Evisceration, Radical Hysterectomy and Other Radical Gynecological Procedures”). Oh well, we all have to start somewhere.
Jeanne Pinder is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded... More by Jeanne Pinder