WHAIC launched a redesign to its PricePoint tool, in January 2023, enabling consumers, patients, and other users to easily access and compare pricing information of health care services across the state.
The cornerstone feature of this redesign is a new plain-language search function, made possible by WHAIC partnering with Intelligent Medical Objects (IMO), known for capturing precise clinical data at the point of care and then standardizing it across settings and sources. The new search feature not only speeds up users’ research time but also allows apples-to-apples comparisons of health care costs across the state. This applies to both consumers and providers, by allowing them to search for generic terms, such as “mammogram,” or the CPT code. Searches for either term produce information about multiple facilities’ median charges, average length of stay, and more for that particular service.
“Wisconsin has a long history of voluntary health care price transparency efforts by hospitals, with WHA’s PricePoint serving as the cornerstone of these efforts,” said WHAIC Vice President Jennifer Mueller. “This user experience redesign is intended to assist consumers as they work with their health care provider and, importantly, their insurance company or other third-party payers to determine the financial obligations for hospital services they receive.”
In addition to the newly announced features, PricePoint also delivers a variety of consumer-focused tools to assist patients in accessing necessary information from other entities besides hospitals, including:
- Hospitals’ Financial Assistance Policy and Contact Information: Patients can easily access hospitals’ financial assistance policy and contact information.
- Quality Data: Users can click the WHAIC CheckPoint tool logo when navigating each hospital's facility information page to gain direct access to information about that hospital's quality data.
- Specific Out-of-Pocket Costs: Consumers can input their specific health insurance provider and PricePoint will provide that insurer’s contact information so the consumer can contact them directly to solicit details about out-of-pocket costs specific to them and their circumstances.
- Insurance Information: Consumers who don’t already have a coverage policy can find information and a menu of options to obtain insurance coverage.
- Post-Care Services: PricePoint provides information about statewide averages for additional post-hospital services to help consumers know what to expect beyond the service they’re searching for.