Value Shopping: Employers, Payers, and Patients are Looking Beyond Quality Measures in Their Provider Comparisons

A comparison shopper, working on behalf of major employers, struggled to find prices she could trust as she scoured health insurers' websites this spring for the cost of procedures, laboratory tests, and office visits.

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“It's not easy to get in a way that makes sense, in a way that is accurate,” says Amanda Goltz, a senior manager for the Pacific Business Group on Health, a healthcare buyer coalition that includes Boeing Co., General Electric Co. and Target Corp. “Nobody has the secret sauce,” says Goltz, a comparison shopper in the coalition's latest test of the marketplace.