The Wall Street Journal has an article about a cardiology patient who had three echocardiograms.
Cardiogram A cost his insurer $373.
Cardiogram B, six months later, "cost his insurer $1605," but the patient, who had a high-deductible plan, "had to pay about $1,000 of the larger bill out of his own pocket."
Cardiogram C, earlier this year, and the most recent of the three, cost $265.31.
The Journal makes from this a headline and news article about how health care costs are rising because of the transition to B from A, attributing the higher costs in B to the fact that independent medical practices are being bought up by hospitals. But the transition to C from B, which the Journal buries toward the end of the article, may be the more newsworthy one: the news that because patients are increasingly paying for their own health care through these high deductible plans, prices are actually being driven down as consumers shop around. It all depends on how the story is framed.