Dr. Graham's Letter To The Editor, Greenville News

By Dr. Sutton Graham on January 22, 2019


Our local newspaper published an article January 14, 2019 titled "Will Upstate hospital price lsits help patients?"  Dr. Graham wrote a response which was published January 20 in which he advocated for pubically available, listed prices to encourage data analysis and market forces.  The link is provided along with a copy of his response.

https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/opinion/2019/01/20/opinion-more-data-help-public-make-health-care-choices/2592782002/ 

Great Benefit of Public Hospital Prices

Re 1/14/19 “Will Upstate hospital price lists help patients?”  I appreciate Ms. Osby’s article, but wish to point out that three individuals interviewed were quoted diminishing the opportunity for cost comparison by referring to urgent or emergency medical situations.  Research has shown that the vast majority (between 90 & 98%) of health care spending is for non-emergency needs.  Publically available cost information is just one step necessary to empower individual health care spending decisions.  Before long Travelocity and Trivago-type websites will be aggregating information.  Public data will allow markets to work on doctors, hospitals, equipment and drug providers in powerful ways, which they currently avoid.  For example, cosmetic surgery prices nationwide have increased very modestly over many years because patients choose.  It may not be Yelp, but there can certainly be helpful ways to individually and personally evaluate the majority of health cost decisions. 

Sutton Graham, MD

Aesthetic Center for Breast and Cosmetic Surgery, PA

 

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