According to a New York Times blog, Castlight Health has taken a new initiative to provide patients and customers with something that no one else has in the medical field. They are giving patients the chance to compare prices and quality ratings on healthcare services.

As healthcare begins to change, workers have to pay more attention to the costs of medical procedures, not only for themselves but also the insurance companies.

When a procedure is being paid for straight out of one’s pocket rather than an employer’s or the insurance company’s, it stands to reason consumers will pay attention to rates between doctors and hospitals to get the best deal.

Obviously this is not the case when it comes to emergency healthcare, but Castlight Health (A start-up financed by venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, according to the NYT) is making this service available for customers to evaluate a doctor’s service based on price and quality.

Price transparency could significantly change the way health care is bought in the United States. The notion “seems ridiculously simple and obvious, and in any other industry, you would say, ‘Duh, we already have that.’ But in health care, it’s revolutionary,” said Alan M. Garber, a professor of medicine and the director of the center for health policy at Stanford, as well as an investor in Castlight.

— Lauren Wages

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