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Variability of top medicare laboratory prices among ‘shoppable service’ price estimators in the USA
  1. Shilpa Ghatnekar1,
  2. Adam Faletsky2,
  3. Vinod E Nambudiri3
  1. 1Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Newton, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Northwell Health, New Hyde Park, New York, USA
  3. 3Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Vinod E Nambudiri, Dermatology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; vnambudiri{at}bwh.harvard.edu

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Introduction

Searching for pricing information prior to receiving medical care is commonplace among half of Americans, particularly among the uninsured and those with high deductibles.1 Additionally, more than half of Americans are unaware that prices vary among providers for the same service.1 To address this knowledge barrier, protect patients and increase healthcare competition, the Executive Order on Improving Price and Quality Transparency in American Healthcare to Put Patients First was issued to encourage price transparency in healthcare.2 As of 1 January 2021, in addition to posting their standard charges, hospitals were required to make at least 300 ‘shoppable services’ charges public online using an accessible, consumer-friendly price estimator. These price estimators allow patients to determine the amounts they are estimated to pay for ‘shoppable services’. We examined the utility of this executive order by analysing and comparing estimated prices of Medicare’s seven most …

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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Tahir S Pillay.

  • Contributors SG and AF contributed equally to manuscript preparation. VEN also assisted with idea generation, manuscript preparation and guidance throughout project completion.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.