KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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Massachusetts To Create Website To Help Consumers Navigate Tricky Health Care World

Part of the goal of the site is to get patients to shop around like they would with any other service.

Boston Globe: State Aims At Elusive Goal: An Online Guide To Health Care Prices 
After years of delay, Massachusetts is taking another crack at a job that has proven especially tough: creating a one-stop online shop to help consumers make educated choices about their health care. The state’s Center for Health Information and Analysis has hired a vendor to design and launch a user-friendly website that includes the average prices of dozens of common health care procedures, safety and quality measures for individual hospitals, and basic information about obtaining insurance and getting care. (Dayal McCluskey, 4/14)

In other news —

New Orleans Times-Picayune: How Much Will That Cost? Finding Out Medical Prices In Advance
If you're insured, ask your provider or check the company's website for pricing tools. Many insurers now offer them, though not all are extremely useful. Some states have terrific pricing tools, such as Minnesota and New Hampshire, but a lot of the state resources are not so great. In Ohio, for example, the prices are simply the list or "chargemaster" prices, which are the top-end rates, and thus not very useful. The National Conference of State Legislatures has a scorecard of those resources. (4/13)

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