Original post here was June 2013. Or, jump to the Nov 2015 update below.
Latest in my series Let patients help, cost-cutting edition
I’ve blogged several times about the greatest truth I’ve learned about the business of medicine. It’s the title of a 2006 Health Affairs article by Princeton economist Uwe Reinhardt: The Pricing of US Hospital Services: Chaos, Behind a Veil of Secrecy.
The cost chart at right shows what’s happened since Reinhardt’s paper appeared, in the middle of the chart. It’s what you’d expect if slush is flowing around with nobody watching.
Today I was reminded that it ain’t just hospitals. :-)
Last week I got my annual checkup. There were two separate problems in my hospital’s appointment system, so I ended up leaving too late to get the simple lab work my doctor had ordered; I said I’d get it done at a local lab.
Today I visited AnyLabTestNow, a chain with a local office. I called ahead, and for walk-in self-pay, it’s $49 for the chemistry panel I needed (Calcium, CO2, etc) and $49 for the cholesterol, total $98. And a $10 off coupon, on the site! Just $88.