A guest column by Jeffrey Miron (“Fixing Medicare will require nation’s seniors to pay more,” Sept. 9) appears to me to have the process backward.
One area especially needing to be addressed was his comment about shopping for lower prices when health care is needed. I am not aware of any easy/suitable way for a health care consumer to shop for care that can provide an apples-to-apples comparison of cost. The price “quoted” for a procedure can vary wildly and a significant contributor to this variation is just what a provider decides to include in a quote and who your insurance carrier might be.
If you have poor insurance or no insurance, the quote will likely be even more overwhelming for a consumer. Until there is a recognizable standardized price reporting system for procedures, shopping by price is nearly impossible.
We still do not have a robust quality reporting system that would help consumers with their health care choices. Choosing a low quote from a provider with poor outcomes could result in a much higher final cost if complications arise.
How many health care shoppers have the skills to navigate successfully in the manner Miron suggests? I think that the answer is very few.
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