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Price transparency is everywhere

April 14, 2006

The Internet has forced price transparency across numerous categories and introduced competition in areas that had previously been closed and protected like, financial services, travel and automotive.

Healthcare is one category where patients have had limited access to pricing information, but this looks set to change with a service on the Healthia website that allows users to comparison shop for the prices of surgeries.

It’s probably not always advisable to shop for the lowest price in this category, but at least as a consumer, you have access to some benchmark levels for comparison.

It will be interesting to see what impact this type of price transparency has on competition in the healthcare sector. One potential outcome is that it will force people overseas, tthe US healthcare industry needs to be careful of India and other Asian countries attracting a new class of tourist, medical tourists, who are being lured by the powerful combination of world-class medical care and low costs, that these countries provide.

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