St. Anthony partners with company to post prices online

Finding out how much a medical service will cost is usually not an easy task. But St. Anthony Hospital has recently started contracting with MDSave, a company that posts hospital system and health care professionals' prices online.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: November 30, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: November 30, 2013
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The cost of a colonoscopy? $1,225.92.

An appointment with a lung specialist? $221.10.

Or how about a well-child exam? $149.05.

These are all prices posted online for actual doctors in Oklahoma City. And those prices are easy for the general public to find.

They're posted on MDSave, a website that partners with hospitals and health care professionals to list their prices online.

And SSM Health Care of Oklahoma, a health care network that includes St. Anthony Hospital, is one of the first health systems in the U.S. to sign up to post its providers' prices on the website.

“We have been seeing the health care system beginning to change, and we have experienced more and more patients having high deductible insurance plans, and we get more and more phone calls from patients asking what a service will cost before they ever schedule for that service or come in for it,” said Steve Powell, regional vice president of delivery system integration for SSM Health Care of Oklahoma. “MDSave approached us with their program, and it really struck us as something innovative in this marketplace that would allow us to be of better service to those patients that are shopping for their health care.”

The website is stark contrast from the usual complexity that a patient finds when they try to find out the cost of their health care.

Anyone can access prices by going to MDSave.com. While on the website, a person clicks which service they're looking for, and for more specific results, types in their ZIP code.

Powell said MDSave brings an increased sense of competition to the health care marketplace, especially as more health care providers sign up.

“We'll see over a period of time what happens with that in terms of pricing,” he said. “I assume what's going to happen is it's going to level out the market somewhat because we'll have information as to what others are offering and will be in a position of making a decision to perhaps lower our rates if that looks appropriate, to be competitive, so the benefit to that will be the patient.”

MDSave is in three states, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas, and plans to expand to Arizona.

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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We have experienced more and more patients having high deductible insurance plans, and we get more and more phone calls from patients asking what a service will cost before they ever schedule for that service or come in for it.”

Steve Powell,
regional vice president of delivery system integration for SSM Health Care of Oklahoma

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