Healthcare Consumer Price Transparency Is Working In Florida

Stethoscope and calculator symbol for health care costs or medical insurance

Photo: Getty Images

A lot has happened in nearly two years and that’s about how long it’s been since the state of Florida rolled out its price transparency website for healthcare. As a huge advocate of consumer price transparency, I was immediately interested in the 2019 rollout of the state’s website aimed at allowing us to compare pricing on medical services. 

The greatest obstacle in more affordable healthcare has long been keeping you in the dark about what it actually costs, aka the insurance first model. Insurance serves us all well but we need to be more informed and shop for healthcare like we do everything else.

FloridaHealthPriceFinder.Gov is the state of Florida service which aggregates pricing information on specific non-emergency medical services from hospitals based on location. Two years ago, at the launch, I priced something I’ve had, an appendectomy, for the purpose of seeing how the website worked. This was the result:

  • National Average: $15,022
  • Florida Average: $14,757
  • Palm Beach County: $11,279
  • Broward County: $11,915
  • Miami-Dade: $17,261

Not much is cheaper today than two years ago, but today:

  • National Average: $16,091 - 7% increase
  • Florida Average: $14,747 - >1% decrease
  • Palm Beach County: $11,164 – 1% decrease
  • Broward County: $11,915 - Flat
  • Miami-Dade: $16,674 – 4% decrease

Over two years ago the average cost of an appendectomy has risen by 7%. In Florida however, the cost has slightly decreased on average with the largest decrease in cost being in Florida’s largest county which was also the most expensive. As for the range in cost currently, it’s huge illustrating another point regarding the importance of being a good consumer of healthcare.

As for the lowest range of specific hospital pricing, the lowest was in Jupiter Medical Center $5,960. The highest at West Kendall Baptist Hospital $25,534.

You hear frequent stories of huge variances in cost for similar services. This one example I pulled at random illustrates the point. Using this site can instantly help you become a much better consumer of healthcare. It can also aid in providing competitiveness in the marketplace based on pricing. If you have a preferred provider with pricing that’s not as competitive, perhaps you could also point them to the pricing on the site to see if they could match. This could be the next good step towards becoming more effective consumers of healthcare and it could clearly save us huge money. 

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