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Bringing comparison shopping to the doctor's office

New York Times, June 11, 2010

Even if a patient does want to comparison-shop for healthcare, there is no easy way to obtain complete and useful information. But a start-up financed by venture capitalists and the Cleveland Clinic, Castlight Health, aims to change that by building a search engine for healthcare prices. Patients using Castlight could search for doctors that offer a service nearby and find out how much they will charge, depending on their insurance coverage. A few others are starting to publish healthcare prices, including Thomson Reuters, a Tennessee start-up called Change:healthcare, the New Hampshire government, which created a comparison shopping tool for residents, and health insurers. Aetna, for example, has built tools to help patients estimate prices and may build more advanced tools, the New York Times reports.