If you were having a baby, how would you feel about paying over 50% more to deliver it just for living a few blocks away from one hospital to another? As with many other medical procedures, cost disparity based on location is a real issue.

As the empowered consumer is beginning to discover, cost transparency tools are changing the business of healthcare. Providing patients with the ability to compare  procedure costs and options to manage their healthcare budget will potentially encourage health care providers to compete on price. 

Expectant parents often tour hospital maternity wings before choosing where to have a baby. Now, patients can more easily factor in what it will mean for their pocketbook, thanks to a new state website that lists the prices for dozens of common medical procedures, including delivering a baby.

The comparemaine.org website, launched this week, is the state’s latest medical cost transparency tool. Paid for by a $3.7 million federal grant, the website was created by the Maine Health Data Organization. The independent state agency tasked with making patient costs more accessible had a previous website that wasn’t nearly as user-friendly. Read the entire story here