At Stat, a Boston-based health and medicine-related site, Harvard medical school professor Ateev Mehrotra has an interesting article about the difficulty he had getting a straight answer about what his daughter's eye surgery would cost:
My family had every advantage that newly minted price shoppers could possibly have: We live in Massachusetts, one of the states that have passed price transparency laws to help patients shop for care; I am a physician; my research focuses on consumerism and price transparency, giving me plenty of insider information; and the surgery was minor and not urgent, giving us lots of time to shop around.
How did it go? Terribly. Here's why:...
An ophthalmologist would remove the growth. The billing department for the ophthalmologist who evaluated my daughter could tell us only what the doctor's fee for the surgery would be ($1,007) and didn't know the fees for the anesthesiologist or the operating room, both of which could be as much as, or more than, the doctor's fee....Other ophthalmologists we called said they would give us a price quote for the surgery only if we brought our daughter in to be evaluated. Each evaluation visit would cost more than $200.