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NH, Maine test transparency with health cost tools

Associated Press/Atlanta Journal Constitution, December 24, 2009

When Laura Davie's doctor suggested she go to the hospital next door for her first mammogram last year, she went online instead. Though she ultimately chose the facility her physician recommended, Davie used New Hampshire's HealthCost Web site to compare how much her insurer would pay various hospitals for the procedure. As employers continue to shift costs to workers through high-deductible health plans, consumers are starting to shop around. Even though Davie's relatively low deductible meant she would pay the same amount anywhere, she wanted to choose the least costly option to send a message to her employer and insurer.