Castlight Health CMO Dena Bravata on price transparency in health care

The growth and impact of consumer directed health care has been hobbled by a dearth of real price information. Imagine shopping at a regular retailer, where neither the shopper nor the cashier knows the price of anything and where prices vary five-fold from one store to the next. That pretty well describes the current situation in health care.

Castlight Health seeks to correct this problem. The company’s web-based tools provide personalized price information to consumers, giving them their actual out-of-pocket price levels for different services and providers based on their specific benefit plan. For example, a consumer scheduling a colonoscopy can compare out-of-pocket costs at various locations. Castlight also provides quality information and explains insurance jargon in plain language.

Leading edge employers starting with Safeway are buying into the concept and offering it to their employees.

In this podcast interview, Castlight’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Dena Bravata, reports on the company’s approach and progress.

You can also read the transcript.

November 15, 2010

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