Fox Business (Sites Offer Name-Your-Price Health Care Deals) quotes me in an article on health care deal sites. Here’s what I have to say:
“They have the potential to provide increased price transparency by publishing retail prices for health care services,” says David E. Williams, president of the Health Business Group, a consulting firm in Boston. “But sites … which post a price but then encourage patients to offer less actually harm transparency by turning prices into a game.”
Should you use a health care deals site? Williams’ advice is to consider what you need versus what’s being offered, because the deals can come bundled with multiple services that you may not need and shouldn’t pay for. He also cautions that you shouldn’t shortchange your health in a quest for savings.
“Continuity of care is important in health care,” he says. “If you get your teeth cleaned at a different dentist every six months, based on the deal, how will anyone be able to notice if something has changed from the last visit?
“The deal sites encourage the health care equivalent of the one-night stand,” he continues. “Each party tries to get whatever they can out of the initial interaction and writes off the future.”