Industry Experts Question Accuracy of Online Estimators for Health Care Costs
Online health care cost estimators increasingly are being offered by health insurers as patients shoulder a bigger share of their medical costs, but some industry experts say more can be done to improve the accuracy of such tools. David Newman, director of the not-for-profit Health Care Cost Institute, said the billing and reimbursement process can make it very difficult for online estimators to accurately predict costs. In addition, Newman noted that online calculators typically provide a cost estimate for one specific procedure, while a health care visit can end up incorporating multiple tests and treatments that the patient will then be billed for.
- "Patients Want To Price-Shop for Care, but Online Tools Unreliable" (Gordon, "Shots," Kaiser Health News/NPR, 11/30).