Transparency still lacking in healthcare
Regarding the editorial “The patient (or consumer) takes center stage,” (March 10, p. 26), being able to carry our medical history with us is a big positive. Another big positive, not mentioned in this column, would be the ability to shop around using real facts and data about care alternatives. As costs and insurance premiums rise, many of us have very high deductibles, meaning we are paying out-of-pocket for a huge amount of our care, yet we lack the hard data on price and quality to shop around the way we shop around for everything else we buy from airline tickets to restaurants to car repairs. I would love to see an initiative designed to empower the healthcare consumer with useful data to comparison shop for doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, clinics, imaging, labs, etc. It’s time.
Jonathan Lauer Healthcare Performance Alliance Woodinville, Wash.