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Government Data on Extreme Medicare Health Care Price Discrepancies Only Part of the Picture for Most Americans


Today, the federal government released in-depth Medicare provider charge data for the 100 most common inpatient procedures conducted at hospitals across America. Available for the first time, the information highlights the extreme price discrepancies that can occur for the exact same procedure, in the same region, as well as the need for better health care transparency.

In regards to the data, Giovanni Colella, M.D., co-founder and CEO of leading Health Care Transparency provider Castlight Health, added:

“We applaud Medicare for making this very important and useful data widely available. Today’s release of Medicare price comparison data for common hospital procedures is a significant first step in addressing the health care cost crisis. This will expose many people, for the first time, to the significant price variation that exists between providers, even within a single geography. The Health and Human Services (HHS) data will also push the hospitals and other providers to rationalize the prices they charge.

“As a next step to improve health care and lower costs for individuals and businesses, transparency needs to encompass both price and quality of care information across health care services. Additionally, the 60 percent of Americans who have private health insurance often pay over 30 percent more than the Medicare prices, impacting both individuals through their out-of-pocket costs and lowered salaries and their employers who pay the majority of the bills. Consumers need access to the actual prices they pay for health care, coupled with quality metrics on providers, so they can make informed decisions. In almost every other market in America, purchase decisions are driven by an understanding of price and quality; it’s time for the same in health care.”

The HHS statement regarding the data can be found here, and a full list of prices can be found on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website.

For more information or to speak to Castlight about the data and the future of the health care in America, contact Joan Levy at jlevy(at)blancandotus(dot)com or 415.856.5110

About Castlight Health
Castlight Health enables employers, their employees, and health plans to take control of health care costs and improve care. Named #1 on The Wall Street Journal’s list of “The Top 50 Venture-Backed Companies” for 2011 and one of Dow Jones’ 50 Most Investment-Worthy Technology Start-Ups, Castlight Health helps the country’s self-insured employers and health plans empower consumers to shop for health care. Castlight Health is headquartered in San Francisco and backed by prominent investors including Allen & Company, Cleveland Clinic, Maverick Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Oak Investment Partners, Redmile Group, T. Rowe Price, U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock, Wellcome Trust and two unnamed mutual funds. For more information, please visit our web site at or call (415) 829-1400.

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