"Peeling Back the Veil of Ignorance" - Health 2.0 Featured Today in VentureBeat

Very interesting coverage by David Hamilton (2.11.08), who voices good criticisms re: enthusiastic estimates of Health 2.0's change capabilities. (Health 2.0 bubble anyone?)

Click here to head over the VentureBeat and read the full text.

Hamilton makes a great point: Health 2.0's unintended side benefits, including revealing corporate & geographically influenced cost differentials for the same exact course of treatment, may be the most change-worthy byproducts of a slew of recent startups.

By attempting to increase the transparency of the US healthcare system for the individual consumer, patient-empowered sites also increase transparency for the general population.

And of course, for policy makers, if they bother to follow along.

Hamilton quotes a small, localized change:healthcare study where researchers called 6 chain pharmacies in 4 different areas of Nashville to get prices for 6 prescriptions, including Lyrica, Lipitor, Ambien, and Singulair.

Findings? Kroger charged 2x more for Singulair in a different part of town. RiteAid charged 2x more for a Lyrica fill than Walgreens.

Another study gathered pricing data for a strep test.

Shocker: estimated costs ranged from $50 to $295. Five of the thirteen providers change:healthcare called, listed by a major insurance co., were either listed incorrectly or couldn't/wouldn't provide pricing data.

Read the article, and then take a look at change:healthcare.

Next, ask yourself if having this type of information readily available wouldn't change the way you personally make healthcare purchasing decisions.

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