Being able to compare the prices of a medical procedure is a luxury for which often, in an emergency, we do not have the time. These students are trying to make it easier.
DENVER – When Katie Salmon’s family member needed medical intervention that their insurance wouldn’t cover, the family found themselves on a tiring search.
“It involved calling the billing departments of individual hospitals, trying to get individual price estimates,” said Salmon, a graduate of Palmer Ridge High School in Monument, Colo.
Salmon, who is now in college out of state, thought there had to be a better way. So she reached out to her high school friend Josh Nokka with an idea.
The couple created a website called Medic price, which aggregates hospital pricing data from across the state and provides users with a cost comparison for common medical procedures in state hospitals.
“You can just compare the price from hospital to hospital,” Nokka said.
The website, which launched in mid-August only in Colorado, has seen 15,000 users, Nokka said.
“Price Medic is a tool for Americans to price their health care and get a feel for the cost of a service or procedure,” he said.
The website only compares non-insurance cash costs for procedures at state hospitals. A federal rule that came into effect earlier this year requires hospitals to publish their price lists for medical procedures for public consumption.
Nokka and Salmon hope to add more data when a new federal rule takes effect next year, forcing most insurers to make their negotiated rates available through a network with providers.
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