SPOKANE, Wash., Feb. 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- It can be difficult and frustrating for a patient or family member to research where to find quality healthcare at an affordable price. Washington State's new WAHealthCareCompare website was created to make it easy to compare prices among providers and facilities in the region.
The user-friendly website is part of the state's larger effort to make health care costs more transparent by giving the public access to the All-Payer Claims Database. The Database, which is the result of legislation proposed by Governor Jay Inslee, gives purchasers, providers, and consumers a clearer picture of where money is being spent, and how costs compare across procedures and services, and geographies. Currently, 20 states have databases, but Washington is one of only six states making such data easily accessible online.
In 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) mandated hospitals to post a list of charges online, but this has created a lot of confusion. Spokane Digestive Center is directing patients to WAHealthCareCompare to view more accurate actual care costs, and compare those costs across multiple facilities in their zip code area.
"My initial reaction when I saw the site was, this is fantastic," says Scott Glennie, the CEO of Spokane Digestive. "While researching the new CMS rule, I discovered the WAHealthCareCompare website. The price ranges listed on the website were calculated from 2017 claims data for more than 4 million Washingtonians, so it's what patients or their insurance company actually paid," continues Mr. Glennie. "Patients can select from a drop down menu containing 80 common procedures and services, and then input a zip code."
"We believe this tool is so important, we've added a 'Compare Cost' page to our own practice website (https://www.spokanedigestive.com) that links to this database, so our patients can see the prices for colonoscopy and upper endoscopy," continues Mr. Glennie. "There is significant variation in costs for the same procedure depending upon the setting and facility. For example, the price of a colonoscopy in Spokane ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. Using this tool to choose a low cost, high quality center to perform a diagnostic colonoscopy for which the claim will be processed against the patient's deductible and co-insurance will save that patient hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket."
"We've taken it a step further and published our quality data on our website, so patients can see quality and price. Once we give patients relevant information, health care providers and facilities will have to compete on price, quality, and service. When this happens, you'll see a very different medical trend in the future," Glennie said. "Washington State got it right."
About Spokane Digestive Center:
Founded in 1978, Spokane Digestive Center is an independent, patient-centered gastroenterology practice. In addition to providing comprehensive outpatient therapeutic and diagnostic endoscopic services such as colonoscopy and EGD, their team of board certified and fellowship trained Medical Doctors and experienced Advanced Practice Providers maintain active clinical practices by performing initial diagnosis, management, and careful follow up in the office of patients with digestive health problems or concerns.
For more information about the WAHealthCareCompare website, visit https://www.wahealthcarecompare.com.
SOURCE Spokane Digestive Center