New Tool Could Potentially Increase Cost Transparency

Amino provides a free tool that helps individuals calculate healthcare costs.

Amino, a healthcare data company, recently started offering a free tool that could potentially increase much needed cost transparency.

Amino conducted a survey of 1500 individuals, and found that 92% of respondents had problems locating price information for various procedures, according to a blog post on the website written by CEO David Vivero.

The tool on their website allows individuals to search for costs regarding different procedures. Individuals can compare price estimates for different physicians, and gain a better idea how much they can expect to pay out-of-pocket.

With this new tool, the company is hoping to reduce the amount of surprise medical costs a patient may otherwise face. The individual can check different procedure-related costs, such as deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance.

There is currently cost information for 49 procedures that range from a new appointment to liver biopsies. Costs for specific physicians can be calculated as well.

The company cites that electronic insurance claim records from 188 million patients were compiled to create accurate pricing data. These claims contain facts about the physician, treatment, and costs, according to the website.

They have analyzed $860 billion claims to date, and plan to continuously add more.

Another service being offered determines whether or not a physician is a good match in regards to costs, experience, and location. There are currently 893,000 physicians on Amino, and patients can also book appointments online for free.

The creators of the tool have found that cost transparency is not as accessible for healthcare as it is for other areas, such as travel or real estate.

“Ultimately, our mission is to help people feel more confident about their health care decisions,” Vivero concluded in his blog post. “To do that, we’ll be working to release cost estimates for every medical service and procedure, across every doctor and facility in America.”