The rising cost of health care, coupled with an increased prevalence of high deductible health plans and out-of-pocket expenses, has led to rising concern over health care costs on the part of both patients and physicians. Furthermore, cost and quality of equivalent tests and procedures can vary dramatically between providers. However, this information is generally not accessible to patients or physicians. We are building a simple and intuitive application that acquires real-time pricing for imaging tests based on an individual patient's insurance plan and current deductible in a fashion similar to comparison shopping engines. This tool will decrease out-of-pocket expenses for patients, streamline referrals, and improve patient-physician rapport by creating a dialogue about cost and value. Our ultimate goal is to expand the scope of the application to include lab tests and outpatient procedures.
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