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New Mass. Requirement Means Insurers Provide Health Care Cost Calculators08:34
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Harvard Medical School researchers called 120 psychiatrists each, in Boston, Houston and Chicago. Boston psychiatrists were least likely to offer an appointment. (AP)
Harvard Medical School researchers called 120 psychiatrists each, in Boston, Houston and Chicago. Boston psychiatrists were least likely to offer an appointment. (AP)
This article is more than 5 years old.

WBUR's health care reporter Martha Bebinger has spent years trying to develop her own health care calculators. She's shopped for MRIs, X-rays, colonoscopies and bone density tests.

But much of that shopping has been seriously labor intensive — and it's unlikely you've personally set out on days-long health cost investigations yourself. In fact, up until now, consumers have sought health care with little to no knowledge of the cost in advance — a practice that often results in sticker shock.

However, it's expected to get a whole lot easier to learn the price of a procedure, test, or doctor's visit before it happens, because of a new requirement in Massachusetts that all insurers offer members real-time online information about cost.

Guest

Martha Bebinger, WBUR reporter covering health care. She tweets @mbebinger.

More

Columbia Journalism Review: How One Massachusetts Reporter Provides A Clear View On The Healthcare Market

  • "As I interviewed people connected with healthcare in Massachusetts earlier this year, one name kept coming up: Martha Bebinger, the health correspondent for WBUR. 'Martha is the best,' said Steve Walsh, a former state legislator and now head of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, in a typical comment. 'She looks at the marketplace.'"

WBUR: Ask About The Quality Of Your Colonoscopy: It Matters

  • "Someday soon, you’ll need a routine medical test, perhaps an ultrasound or a mammogram, and you’ll obviously want the best. But the quality of health care tests and procedures can vary a lot depending on the doctor or hospital, and it’s not easy for patients to find information about quality."

This segment aired on October 7, 2014.

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