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.
- "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.'"
- "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.