Change Healthcare Q4 Healthcare Transparency Index Shows Widely Varying Prices for Healthcare Services, Reinforces Need for Transparency - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Change Healthcare Q4 Healthcare Transparency Index Shows Widely Varying Prices for Healthcare Services, Reinforces Need for Transparency

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SOURCE Change Healthcare

HCTI Shows High Price Variability on Imaging, Birth Delivery and ACA-Mandated Preventive Services

BRENTWOOD, Tenn., May 6, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Change Healthcare's latest quarterly Healthcare Transparency Index (HCTI) shows nine medical procedures with high costs and price variances as high as 796 percent. Even within a given network, charges for pharmacy, medical and dental services often vary by more than 300 percent.

"As patients are paying a larger share of their medical expenses – a result of higher co-pays and high-deductible health plans – the need for cost transparency on a consumer level becomes ever more essential," said Doug Ghertner, president and CEO of Change Healthcare, the market leader in consumer engagement and cost transparency. "Providing patients with the education and information they need to make value-based healthcare decisions benefits the individual and plan sponsors alike."

Imaging services were the leading area for cost reduction opportunities for plan sponsors and consumers. From an analysis of a database including more than 180 million insurance claims from Q4 of 2013, Change Healthcare found CT scans varied 796 percent from $307 to $2,747 per scan, with an average cost of more than $1,200. Ultrasound costs varied by 411 percent.

Report findings also included inconsistent pricing for vaginal and cesarean section (C-section) deliveries. Vaginal deliveries, ranging 189 percent from $4,359 to $12,613 per delivery, were labeled as a high-cost and high-variance service. Meanwhile, as the prevalence of C-section deliveries increases – 60 percent since 1996, according to The National Center for Health Statistics – so does the variation in cost, which currently spans from $6,680 to $17,619 per procedure.

Five preventive services mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and provided without charge to consumers were named in the report as opportunities for targeted interventions, particularly among the public and private insurers and employers who are now absorbing all costs associated with these tests and procedures. A standard office visit with a diabetes screening ranged in price by 300 percent, while a screening mammogram showed a 193 percent price variation. Other mandated services included in the report include a screening colonoscopy (189 percent price variation), office visit with lipid screening (183 percent price variation), and an office visit with pap smear (93 percent price variation).

To uncover services with the greatest opportunity for savings, Change Healthcare's HCTI includes a Transparency MatrixTM, which identifies services that are both high cost and highly variable in price. Examining data from the fourth quarter of 2013, nine services fell into the Change Healthcare Transparency Matrix Target quadrant.  The nine services included:


Price Range

Price Variability

C-Section Delivery



Vaginal Delivery



Colonoscopies/Upper GI Endoscopies



Office Visit with Lipid Screening



Office Visit with Diabetes Screening






CT Scans









The HCTI report, available at, is a quarterly measure of the costs and cost variability of various medical and dental services that consumers purchase on a recurring basis over time. The source of the healthcare cost data is the aggregation of in-network medical and dental claims from credentialed providers across all Change Healthcare clients, which has geographic coverage that spans nationally and covers more than 7 million lives.

About Change Healthcare
Established in 2007, Change Healthcare is on a mission to transform the way Americans purchase and utilize healthcare services by driving sustainable engagement at the individual level.  With a national client base of health plans and employers covering lives in all 50 states, and more than 7 million users on its platform, Change Healthcare is the premier national provider of healthcare cost transparency and consumer engagement solutions that enable consumers to: Better understand and utilize their healthcare benefits; make informed healthcare purchasing decisions based on quality, cost and convenience; and manage higher out-of-pocket responsibility and realize savings. This, in turn, helps plan sponsors: Control their healthcare cost growth trend; successfully migrate to more cost-effective plan types; optimize existing wellness programs and on-site clinics; and improve member/employee satisfaction and retention. To learn more, visit

Contact:  Laura Alabed-Olsson
Senior Manager, Marketing and Communications
Change Healthcare Corporation
(615) 775-9441

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