Patients searching for health care prices now have access to more procedures than ever before through an online shopping tool based on information in the Colorado All Payer Claims Database (CO APCD). CIVHC has launched the “Shop for Care” tool to help consumers across the state locate facilities with the lowest price and best patient experience ratings, and to aid the effort to reduce health care spending. The information includes prices for new X-ray imaging services and updates to currently available services like CT scans and MRIs. It also provides new “episode” prices for hospital and outpatient procedures including knee and hip replacement, births, cataract surgery and colonoscopies.
Episode prices provide an estimate of the total costs associated with all care before, during and after a procedure. Providing one price for the full episode of care helps patients understand how much they, and their insurance company, can expect to pay in total between bills they may receive from hospitals, doctors, rehabilitation facilities, lab centers, pharmacies and more.
As a consumer, it’s very difficult to determine where you should go for high value health care,” said Ana English, CIVHC president and CEO, in a news release. “Instead of being surprised by multiple bills or calling around to many facilities, our new tool enables patients to shop based on an estimate of the total price for all associated care.”
Patients shopping for episode-based care in Colorado can save significantly by shopping around - from $3,520 for cataract surgery up to $35,220 for a knee replacement. Colorado is the second state after Maryland to use an APCD to provide full episode prices to consumers.
“Health insurance premiums continue to rise and rates are set based on historic and anticipated payments, so it’s important for consumers to pay attention to the total price they pay in combination with their insurance company,” English said in the release.
In addition to using this tool, consumers are encouraged to access other publicly available sources of quality information and to ask their health insurance company about their specific out of pocket costs.
Use the tool here. Additional statewide public CO APCD interactive reports on topics like total cost of care, reference-based pricing, quality, utilization and condition prevalence are also available publicly on the CIVHC website, www.civhc.org.