Did you know the cost of your health care depends on where you live. heat map For example, in Cincinnati, the average cost of a blood test for Cholesterol is $21 while in Dayton the average is $65.  To make matters more complex, even within a community, the range is vast.   New heat maps from Castlight Health, the San Francisco based health care decision support company, show that within Cincinnati alone, the price range for the same blood test is $10-$131.

Patients are health care consumers and informed consumers make better choices. That is why the Health Collaborative is working with Castlight on a project to see what happens when consumers can see cost and are able to balance that with the quality data we report on YourHealthMatters.org.  The project is for a select group of participants and not available to the general public, but we are pleased to be participating in this interesting experiment.

Check out the maps and see the cost variation across the nation. You’ll notice that for some procedures Greater Cincinnati rates are lower than other communities and for some procedures we are higher. The data is likely to spark some debate as to why costs vary so much, but our stakeholders have been in the forefront of transparency. We are reporting quality measures on YourHealthMatters and we are working toward a day when we can provide cost information as well.