The best introduction to this confusing topic is this YouTube video from Resource (1) Clear Health Costs [you really need to explore this website]:
In the US, the very same blood test can cost $19 at one clinic and $522 at another clinic just blocks away — and nobody knows the difference until they get a bill weeks later. Journalist Jeanne Pinder says it doesn’t have to be this way. She’s built a platform that crowdsources the true costs of medical procedures and makes the data public, revealing the secrets of health care pricing. Learn how knowing what stuff costs in advance could make us healthier, save us money — and help fix a broken system.
Here are links to some useful resources on health care prices.
I will be excerpting from each of the four resources below soon. But each resource should be carefully explored in its entirety as each contains valuable explanation.
FINDING OUT WHAT HEALTH CARE COSTS CAN SEEM IMPOSSIBLE. WE’RE HERE TO HELP.
Rising health care costs are one of the biggest problems we face as a nation. We’re journalists working to bring transparency to the system by telling people what stuff costs. Find prices, research issues, and share your prices on our site.
(2) They Want It to Be Secret: How a Common Blood Test Can Cost $11 or Almost $1,000 By Margot Sanger-Katz April 30, 2019 from The New York Times.
(3) Trump Administration Targets ‘Secretive Nature’ of Health Care Pricing By Robert Pear March 8, 2019 from The New York Times.
Here is an excerpt from the above article:
In its latest proposal, the administration asked if health care providers could be required to disclose the “negotiated rates” for all of the insurance plans with which they do business.
Thomas P. Nickels, an executive vice president of the American Hospital Association, said this was “a radical idea, requiring the disclosure of privately negotiated rates between two parties in a contract.”
Moreover, Mr. Nickels said, it would be impractical because a hospital may have contracts with a dozen insurers, and each insurer may have four or five different health plans with different terms.
The new initiative to require disclosure of price information came in an unusual way, slipped into the preamble to a proposed rule promoting the exchange of information stored in electronic health records. In 2009, Congress provided money to foster the adoption of electronic records, but health care providers cannot always communicate with one another when they use technology made by different vendors.
Economists say health care markets are opaque and frustrate consumers who want to shop for the best value.