Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2017)—Moving healthcare price transparency from passive knowledge to actionable purchasing power, HealthCost, launched a technology platform giving providers and patients the knowledge and control of costs associated with healthcare. At Health Datapalooza in Washington, D.C., U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, M.D., kicked off the conference where HealthCost.com made its debut, making it the only national healthcare network offering an open marketplace for setting, comparing and, soon, locking-in healthcare costs.
“While Washington is fixated on insurance coverage numbers, more than 50 million American consumers with and without health insurance are now equally faced with directly paying for thousands of dollars in healthcare services each year.” said William A. Moore, founding partner at HealthCost, who introduced the new free market network to a diverse audience of more than 1,600 people focused on how healthcare can be improved by harnessing the power of data. “There’s not a lot of difference between the uninsured, those in narrow networks or those who have extremely high deductibles. All of those patients are paying out of pocket. Period. Leaving families across the nation in financial wreckage. We’re giving them the freedom and control to know what docs and healthcare facilities are charging before they receive care. It’s the knowledge they need to make a choice when the price variance can be as high as 400%,” said Moore.
Datapalooza attendees from the public and private sectors included representatives from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), hospitals, higher education, healthcare practitioners, technology leaders, patients and patient advocates.
“Many inside the healthcare establishment dismiss consumers as lacking the knowledge or desire to learn about the cost and quality of their care. They say it’s too complex,” said Douglas Tardio, one of the HealthCost founding partners. “At the same time they tell them they must spend $4,000 of their hard earned money before insurance pays a dime. At HealthCost we think the decision to engage in healthcare decisions should be left to the consumer not big business.”
Gregory Downing, D.O., Ph.D, co-founder of Health Datapalooza and Executive Director for Innovation in the Immediate Office of the Secretary at HHS shared “Health Datapalooza was created to convene entreprenuers and policy markers who share the simple idea that transparency and exchange of data throughout the health care system would unleash massive innovation. As a founder of this data-enabled movement for health-care system innovation, I can see the remarkable culture change that has come about through the liberation of data.”
Over 10,000 consumers have already gained access to see costs and information on more than 800 common episodes of care provided by more than 550,000 U.S. healthcare practitioners on HealthCost.com or the HealthCost app.
“Consumers can comparison shop online for everything from homes to higher education. Everything, that is, except healthcare. Until now,” said Moore. “HealthCost is stopping the endless cycle of cost shifting that always leaves doctors and patients on the losing end. With HealthCost, healthcare will be like other transparent, open markets, where consumers and providers (as buyers and sellers) mutually drive costs and demand.”
HealthCost harnesses the power of big data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and offers a transparent and open market solution to all. At HealthCost, patients can now search for the exact cost of individual healthcare procedures. While other search tools only share average regional rates, HealthCost openly displays actual costs from each individual doctor and the facility where he or she performs the procedure. Consumers can also compare how costs for the same procedure, performed by the same doctor, changes from facility to facility. Any consumer can access the network, compare prices between providers and locations, and soon, lock-in a price with the provider of their choice in advance.
HealthCost provides newfound freedom to the provider, too. The network allows providers to set and manage their own network rates, and since it’s an open network, HealthCost frees providers to reach new patients at reimbursement rates they determine.
“Now is the time for providers to join and begin setting their own network rates,” said Moore. “We’ve made it easy. With HealthCost, the network is open, not narrow. It’s time providers had the freedom to determine the mix of patients and reimbursements that’s right for them.”
“This may all seem like common sense – and it is – but it’s revolutionary in healthcare,” said Moore. “We believe that in America today the actual costs of goods and services should never be hidden from healthcare consumers. When consumers don’t know what providers are actually being paid for their goods and services and when providers can’t adjust their pricing based on market conditions or compete for patients who are uninsured or simply out of network, no one wins, especially individual Americans in their time of need.”
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HealthCost is the only network offering an open marketplace for setting, comparing and locking-in healthcare costs. Like other transparent, open markets, consumers and providers (as buyers and sellers) now mutually drive costs and demand. HealthCost providers have the freedom to set their own HealthCost network rates and reach new consumers, no matter how, or if, they are insured. HealthCost consumers have the freedom to comparison shop and lock-in rates with any provider they choose.
HealthCost was formed when six colleagues joined forces in 2016 around the shared belief that a free, transparent healthcare marketplace could compliment traditional plan-based solutions for consumers. All with differing backgrounds but one shared mission, William Moore, Douglas Tardio, Russell Amico, M.D., Frank Frenzel, William Tausig and Robert Moses are all founding partners of the tech startup, aimed at bringing simple, borderless, and market driven choice to every consumer for the most common healthcare needs. HealthCost.com includes searchable charges and quality data provided by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), however, providers have the ability to join the network to set and manage their own rates.