Imagine Calling a Maine Hospital and Getting an Advance Price on the Cost of Your Treatment


Sometimes in Maine we seem to be the last to jump on board with national trends. HCA, a national for-profit chain of 165 hospitals, will “begin telling patients in advance how much they will pay,” according to a story in the Tennessean. Both patients with consumer-directed health plans (plans combined with Health Savings Accounts) and the uninsured can get prices in advance and call HCA for estimates of their total cost of treatment.
Too often people complain about for-profit providers in health care. Isn’t it interesting that a for-profit hospital chain seems to be most comfortable with posting its prices and is leading the push for greater price transparency in health care?
Maybe competition and the profit motive are positive factors in health care, just like they are in the other 5/6ths of the economy.