The information at HealthcareBlueBook.com might be among the first of many such sites to come. It purports to tell consumers what the average fee should be for various medical procedures. Here is the description from the site:
Blue Book Information
The Healthcare Blue Book is provided free to consumers. The Healthcare Blue Book price represents a fair price to pay for a service or product when the patient is paying cash at the time of treatment. It represents a payment amount that many high-quality providers accept from insurance companies as payment in full, and it is usually less than the stated “billed charges” amount.
Unfortunately, it is difficult for consumers to determine fair pricing for healthcare. Prices are not generally published and the list prices (or billed charges) are higher than providers typically charge most of their patients with insurance. The Healthcare Blue Book is a free resource that shows a fair price for healthcare products and services to consumers.
Consumers with traditional health insurance frequently need to know how much healthcare services will cost. Average deductibles are increasing and can be $1000 or higher. Coinsurance rates, which are the percentage of the bill that the consumer must pay, range from 20 to 40%. Many consumers would prefer to use the doctor of their choice, instead of the one selected as “in-network” by their insurance company, as long as they knew they wouldn’t have to pay higher prices. There are also “non-covered services” that may not be covered by insurance. As health insurance companies shift more of the cost to consumers, consumers need to be able to choose healthcare services at fair prices.
About the Company
The Healthcare Blue Book has a single mission: fair, upfront pricing in healthcare.
In America, there are 47 million people without health insurance and 4.5 million with Health Savings Accounts (HSA). For those with health insurance, their deductibles and co-payments continue to increase each year. The result is that many people are directly paying for a large part of their healthcare. Unfortunately while consumers have to pay for healthcare services, it is difficult for them to find out what healthcare costs and, more importantly, what it should cost.
The Healthcare Blue Book was established to provide consumers with the knowledge they need to get fair prices for their healthcare. We invite all consumers to become members for free and to contribute to our project. We have created a cooperative environment where consumers can help each other find quality care at fair prices. While we work with many employers, providers and healthcare groups, the Healthcare Blue Book is a private and independently owned resource.