Piggy banks with calculator and stethoscope Not only is there massive price disparity among health care providers for the same procedure, simply choosing by price doesn’t provide consumers with other information they need to make an informed decision. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Just because a price is disclosed doesn’t mean that the cost to the patient—not just in money, but in quality of service—will be transparent.

That’s the conclusion of a study from public accounting, consulting and technology firm Crowe, Transparent Doesn’t Equal Rational: Problems With Transparency Order, which analyzed Crowe’s national hospital database for individual pricing levels of 100 common outpatient procedures priced at more than $500 in gross charges, the list price that hospitals post in their systems. Crowe also reviewed the average allowable revenue (what patients pay out of pocket after insurance) for each of those procedures.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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