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Invited Commentary
October 7, 2021

Price Transparency in Hospital Pricing of 2 Eye Surgeries

Author Affiliations
  • 1Wilmer Eye Institute, Baltimore, Maryland
JAMA Ophthalmol. 2021;139(11):1216-1217. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2021.3949

Price transparency has become a routine part of retail business, driven by consumers’ ability to instantly shop online from numerous vendors. Such information often includes data about the vendor’s performance and product quality, allowing choice on value. However, pricing in health care is more complicated and difficult to predict because the patient-level cost is affected by available discounts, the actual benefit provided by their health care insurance, their coinsurance rate, how much of the deductible has been met, and perhaps, most difficult of all, what exact services and supplies they will need to purchase for the service. Shopping for health care is mainly feasible for elective and common conditions. In addition, many patients will choose to strongly factor into their decision a referral to a specific physician or facility in preference to pricing information.

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