When making any expensive purchase, most Americans take time to research products and compare cost and quality. Whether looking for a new car, a refrigerator, or a camping tent, there’s ample information available at our fingertips—consumer reports, satisfaction ratings, and comparisons of where to buy the best product at the best price.
But when it comes to healthcare services, similar information is hard to find. Patients are often completely unaware of what services will cost them until after their health plan has paid its share. Although doctors can give estimates for the services they directly provide, they’re often unaware of the cost or quality of any facilities, radiology, or anesthesia required in conjunction with that care.
To help our members make more informed decisions, Deseret Mutual has launched the Healthcare CostCutter tool for active participants in Utah, southeastern Idaho, and Hawaii. This tool analyzes Deseret Mutual claims data to provide estimates of what patients can expect to pay for common bundles of services from one healthcare provider to another. It also provides nationally aggregated quality ratings from agencies such as CMS, HHS, The Joint Commission, HCAHPS, and Strenuus.
Participants can also use this tool to look up prescription drug prices at competing pharmacies or see how much they would save by switching from a brand-name medication to a generic (with their physician’s approval, of course).
Armed with this cost and quality information, we’re confident our participants now have the tools to become wiser healthcare consumers.