New website launched in Florida providing healthcare cost transparency

Updated: Nov. 4, 2019 at 9:49 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A new website is now available to all Floridians, bringing more transparency to healthcare costs. Governor Ron DeSantis announced Monday the Florida Health Price Finder website, which gives residents prices on non-emergency medical procedures in the state.

“We think that this is a powerful tool that can be used as we look to innovate health care and save costs," said DeSantis. "I think what most people want is, they want high quality care but they want it in the most cost-effective way.”

Pricing is broken down by state average, national average and county average allowing Florida residents to find the best price for their medical needs.

Healthcare and patient advocate Stuart Cassell says he isn’t sold on this website. He tells us the average numbers are from a few years ago and outdated and he says the numbers come from an insurance company and doesn’t take into account things like Medicare and negotiated rates.

“The idea is good except what’s it’s based upon is flawed and unless they can come up with more definitive figures and I think it’s confusing to people,” said Cassell.

Cassell believes the website can be improved and beneficial for Floridians.

“I think if they indicate the name of the insurers that they use, I think they have to put in Medicare and they have to HMO’s and they got to speak about PPO’s,” said Cassell.

We did reach out to many of the hospitals in the area but there was nobody available to comment about this. Here’s the link to the website

This is a response from the Florida Hospital Association ABC7 received late Monday night regarding the new website:

Today, Florida Hospital Association President Bruce Rueben issued the following statement regarding the Agency for Health Care Administration’s Florida Health PriceFinder Web site: “The Florida Hospital Association (FHA) is committed to price transparency – that’s why we supported House Bill 1175 in 2016 and launched that same year. Available every day for the last three years, provides individual hospital price and quality information in an easy-to-use, searchable format. We ensure the reliability of the information by having hospitals verify the data to ensure accuracy. This is a fundamental step to make sure the public can trust the information. So, we are surprised that the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) abandoned its longstanding practice of having hospitals review their pricing data before it’s publicly shared to ensure accuracy. Since AHCA did not verify the data with hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, its validity is unknown. Upon initial review, it appears the website does not accurately display all health care services, such as maternity care, cardiac and orthopedic procedures, that are offered in communities across Florida. To ensure consumers have access to reliable information, all inaccurate data must be immediately corrected and publicly shared.” Thank you.

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