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Variation in Prices for Common Medical Tests and Procedures

Lisa Aliferis, BA1
[+] Author Affiliations
1KQED News, San Francisco, California
JAMA Intern Med. 2015;175(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.6793.
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This Viewpoint reports crowdsourced health care prices in California.

Say you are shopping for a new computer or a new car and you want the best price. Within a matter of minutes on Google, you would have a pretty good idea of the price range for the item you want. But in health care? Forget it. As a journalist specializing in health care, I have written frequently about the frustration and anxiety that patients face in dealing with bewildering bills. In addition, insurers negotiate contracts with physicians and hospitals, and those prices are sealed tight.

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