When the Obama administration went public with the first-ever comprehensive data on disparities in hospital billing last week, we knew it would be a game changer.
There was just one thing that really bothered us: It’s a beast to navigate.
It’s basically the Mother of all spreadsheets, packed with post- and pre-insurance prices for the 100 most common procedures at over 3,300 hospitals.
Luckily, some genius has funneled all of that data into a much simpler web tool at http://www.opscost.com/.
Just punch in your city and the procedure you’d like to compare and the tool will come up with an easy-to-read list of costs at hospitals in the area.
We’re trying to track down the site creator, but no dice. They do have a Twitter account, however.
The uninsured have the most to lose from price discrepancies, since they don’t have the benefit of Medicare or a private insurer to bear the brunt of the cost burden. Until now, there hasn’t been a list of charges for common medical procedures anywhere near as comprehensive for consumers to sort through.
If anything, now we know that just like any consumer product, it pays to shop around for medical care — or, at the very least, try to negotiate.