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In Mass., Getting Prices in Advance Not Easy

continued...

Dr. Ron Dunlap, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, says giving patients prices is a good idea, “but I think this project is somewhat of an overshoot. It’s just too broad, there are too many different procedures. My thought is that we should focus on the most frequently used expensive procedures and that’s where most of the savings could be achieved.”

There are no plans to revise the pricing requirement. The state’s undersecretary for the Office of Consumer Affairs, Barbara Anthony, says the time has come to put price tags on health care.

“It’s kind of, ridiculous, is the word that comes to mind, that we’re actually talking about the pros and cons of whether consumers should know how much their health care costs,” Anthony says. “I mean what other commodity or service do we ever debate whether or not a consumer should know the price of a service before purchasing? You can’t even name one.”

This story is part of a collaboration among NPR, WBUR, and Kaiser Health News.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Fri, Feb 7 2014

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