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Home >  E-Weekly >  December 17, 2013

Colonoscopy Prices Posted Online

Published: December 16, 2013

Digestive Disease Specialists in Oklahoma City, Okla., is posting its colonoscopy prices online, the first GI group in the nation to do so, according to Carl A. Raczkowski, MD, medical director of DDS's North Ambulatory Center.

DDS posts bundled pricing — including facility, physician and anesthesia fees — on a website powered by MDSave, a Brentwood, Tenn.-based healthcare e-commerce company that lets patients compare the cost of medical procedures offered by physicians in their communities.

Patients review the single cost for a colonoscopy and purchase the procedure online. Uninsured patients and insured patients with high deductibles can expect to pay an average of $3,675 and $2,183, respectively, according to MDSave. If they book through the company's website, however, the procedure would cost $1,225, a 66% savings.

Paul Ketchel, a spokesman for MDSave, says physician groups or facilities contract with the company on a monthly per-provider subscription fee. The providers or facility can post prices for unlimited services, add or remove services or change prices at any time. MDSave also charges a small transaction fee for each procedure booked through them. Patients are not charged to register with the company in order to access the online pricing.

Mr. Ketchel says all providers are paid within 6 days of seeing patients, putting money in their coffers sooner and eliminating the need to manage debt collection and its associated costs. "Simply put, we gain savings from efficiency, free market forces and putting providers back in control of the patient-provider relationship," adds Mr. Ketchel.

DDS isn't the first Oklahoma City group to offer online pricing. Anesthesiologist Keith Smith, MD, has received national attention for posting all-inclusive prices for surgery at the Surgery Center of Oklahoma with the aim of bringing price transparency to heath care and easing the financial burden for facilities, physicians and patients.

Daniel Cook

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