Find A Surgeon Online

Just saw this on the news (thank you, Katie Couric): HealthGrades is a website giving consumers unprecedented access to health procedure cost and hospital information.

The site’s most interesting feature, a medical cost calculation report, runs $7.95 a pop. Hospital ratings and quality ratings by procedure are free. HealthGrades sells a list of filtered physician recommendations for $9.95, though they will give you one name for free.

Other services include nursing home research and looking up a particular doctor’s history.

HealthGrades gets its info based on Medicare Provider Analysis and Review files, under license from the U.S. Department of Health.

Potentially, the cost calculator could lead to a downward effect on procedures prices by increasing competition. Actual price matching, however, may be out of the question. The newscast showed one Denver woman trying to get her operation’s cost reduced as it was $1600 higher than the regional average. The hospital refused. The woman paid the higher amount because her insurance made her use this particular hospital. CBS seemed to position this as a weakness on the part of HealthGrade, but it’s really just market forces at their purest. If the consumer can’t actually choose provider based on cost, then their bargaining power is minimal. — BEN POPKEN

HealthGrades [Official Site]

Comments

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  1. crawfishpie says:

    Isn’t this information available free on the web? I know the Nursing Home reports are found at http://www.medicare.gov/NHCompare/Include/DataSection/Ques

    Surely hospital and surgical performance records are available somewhere too.

    By the way, don’t rely strictly on such reports…as a nursing home insider, I know that these only tell a portion of the story and can be unfairly slanted. If you’re searching for a nursing facility for a loved one, VISIT THERE, ask lots of questions, sniff the joint for cleanliness, and ask others for recommendations.

  2. bones says:

    You do know this is a rip off, right? This info is available for free, many times by calling your local hospital or Medical Society. This is a company that makes money on your suffering. And we won’t even mention the fact that Medicare analysis is based on cost savings from using cheaper supplies/hospitals (even if they are substandard), kicking people out of the hospital before they are ready by using “standardized” lengths of stay for specific diseases ( you get 3 days hospitaliaton for a heart attack, period), and why in god’s name would you want to use the “cheapest” surgeon for your operation – plenty of examples on this board why the “cheapest” anything many times breaks, never worked right, gives nothing but problems…a “discount” hysterectomy is a stupid goal for the consumer.