Indiana website allows patients to shop around and compare medical procedure cost

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There's a new tool in Indiana to help you navigate the world of expensive healthcare procedures that can often break the bank.

The website, mycareINsight.org lets you compare hospital pricing and quality reviews side-by-side.

"You can compare them from a reliable source on our site. Then you can correlate that with the charge too. So if you're comparing three hospitals our best encouragement would be to make the best value decision," said Indiana Hospital Association President, Douglas Leonard.

It’s information that would have taken you hours of scouring dozens of sites to find.

The site took more than a year to put together and is now ready for use.

You can currently search the 100 most common in-patient services in Indiana and the site will be continually updated. The site is easy to use. Search by zip code, procedure or hospital. You can also browse through categories.Then choose the hospitals you want to compare. You’ll see prices and quality rankings, including patient outcomes.

"What we'd prefer is people become aware of this site and if they have a planned procedure like a knee replacement that they can learn about what it will cost and start to make provision in their household to be more prepared," said Leonard.

Ultimately, the bottom line for the patient depends on their insurance or other financial assistance that will be applied to their portion of the bill. Prices tend to be lower for smaller county hospitals due to fewer severe patients, costs to maintain the facility and resources. Procedures in hospitals in the highly populated areas tend to be higher based on a number of factors including technology, research facilities and costs they've negotiated with insurance companies.

But this site could force hospitals to become more competitive.

"Hospitals like any other business are competing and they don't like the fact they look so much higher than the next hospital. So I think over time we're going to see a real change in the whole pricing strategy of hospitals," said Leonard.