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11:07 AM
Anthony Vecchione, InformationWeek
Anthony Vecchione, InformationWeek
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Health Insurers' Online Tools Give Consumers Purchasing Clout

United Healthcare and Aetna empower customers with online tools that estimate the cost and quality of medical care.

Imagine being able to go online and comparison-shop for surgical procedures, lab and radiology tests, and physician office visits. If you're one of 14 million United Healthcare (UHC) customers, you can do just that with myHealthcare Cost Estimator at

UHC recently unveiled the online service, designed to help consumers locate quality care and estimate the cost of more than 100 common treatments and procedures. "We have always had a cost estimation tool, but we have enhanced that tool for consumers to get a simple online shopping experience for healthcare by putting the right information around different care paths," Nick Martin, vice president of innovation research and development for United Healthcare told InformationWeek Healthcare.

"We have enhanced it to offer a more accurate development tool for them, whereby we actually bump it up against a contracted fee schedule for those physicians and hospitals," said Martin. myHealthcare Cost Estimator provides estimates based on available fee schedules and actual contracted rates with care providers. If that information isn't available, estimates are based on previous claims with the care provider.

Read the rest of this article on InformationWeek.

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