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Health Bargain Hunters Use Websites To Cut Doctor Bills

(Bloomberg) Surgery to remove your appendix in one California hospital could cost $180,000. Have the operation at a different facility in the same state and the bill might be as little as $1,500.
That kind of disparity, typical across the country, combined with escalating medical spending and the increasing amount of data available online, has prompted several startups to get into the business of helping companies and their employees save health-care dollars.
“This is about changing the way people shop for health care, and as a consequence, changing the way care gets delivered,” said Giovanni Colella, co-founder of Castlight Health Inc., a San Francisco-based company that helps patients shop for medical care…
Castlight works by showing how much doctors, labs and hospitals charge for their services, as well as providing quality ratings. On May 1, the company announced it raised $100 million from investors. Other sites such as HealthcareBlueBook.com, ClearCost Health and Change Healthcare Corp. help employers identify less costly doctors and providers for their workers.
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