A few days ago I found PricePain.com, a relatively new online service that allows people to find the cost of a visit to a doctor, retail health clinic, or other provider near them, as well as the prices of procedures they offer. Finding real prices has always been one of the main challenges for self-pay patients, both uninsured and those with health insurance, so the arrival of PricePain.com is a welcome development.
PricePain.com describes their services and how they operate this way:
pricepain.com helps patients and doctors virtually meet and find the best price for both. Patients will save money and doctors time. Over time outperforming doctors will attract more and more business while patients will get better and better health care for less and less money…
At its heart, pricepain.com is a search engine and market place. We offer our platform to doctors and clinics for free and encourage them to list their prices for all their procedures offered. For the public to come, see, compare and rejoice.
Patients who are shopping for Flu-shots to surgeries locally or nationwide compare prices and offerings, check reviews and our public resolution center to get the best possible information about a doctor before choosing a place and location.
Patients are able to search by zip code and by procedure. Currently the site only appears to have prices for New York and Florida, but I’ve been told that they intend to expand further. And the prices look pretty good – because patients are paying cash, they are significantly lower than what are offered to patients paying with insurance.
For example, I searched for prices for a vasectomy, which according to Health Care Blue Book costs on average around $1,267 in the 10008 zip code (downtown Manhattan, as near as I can tell). The results were what anyone familiar with cash-only prices health care would expect, with four doctors in the area offering that procedure for between $450 and $550.
One of the best things about PricePain.com is that it includes non-physician providers like convenient care clinics. So someone searching in New York for ‘Office visit – new patient’ might see the nearby CVS Minute Clinics while in Florida will find the closest Walgreen’s Health Clinic.
Each provider listed also has a profile page, although not all of them appear to have information. Those that do have information include price schedules, an online booking function, patient reviews, and information about the provider such as where the received their education, how long they’ve been in practice, specialties and accreditations, and other information.
PricePain.com appears to be in their early stages, and the web site is a little glitchy (or it’s just me – anybody who knows me can attest to my neo-Luddite sensibilities). But it holds great promise as a valuable tool for self-pay patients looking to quickly find medical providers that offer affordable care.