Healthcare Study Points to Extreme Cost Disparities
A recent study by health plan comparison tools provider Change Healthcare has revealed that some providers are charging much more than others for the same common procedures. In fact, depending on the plan and needs of the participant, costs could be up to 755 percent higher for the same treatment, in the same area. This news gives compelling evidence for employees to shop carefully when looking for a provider to cover such conventional preventative procedures as mammograms and other gynecological services, colonoscopies, and flu shots.
Even though the new healthcare reform law says healthcare plans are required to cover 100 percent of the cost of these medical services, the increase in premiums may more than offset any potential savings. Through careful consideration and close analyzation of plans, employees can find lower-cost plans that will save a lot of money over time.
The study found stark differences in costs between common procedures, depending on health plan provider. Some of the findings include:
- Cost of diabetes screenings ranged from $51 to $437; a difference of 755 percent.
- Pap smears ranged from $131 to $476; a 264 percent difference.
- Colonoscopies ranged from $786 to $1,819; a change of 138 percent.
- A lipid panel test ranged from between $117 and $374; a difference of 219 percent.
- Mammograms ranged from between $169 and $403; a 138 percent difference.