The free market is supposed to be efficient. Yet employers are throwing away hundreds of millions of dollars, by not giving their employees intelligently designed healthcare benefits that encourage them to shop for affordable lab tests.
Right now, when your doctor orders a CBC (complete blood count) and a basic chemistry panel (checking your sodium, potassium and other fun chemicals), you probably walk down a hallway and get your blood drawn, or maybe you go to the nearest testing site. A pleasant nurse draws several vials of blood from your arm, and eventually you and your employer get a bill in the mail for the cost of your tests. You probably don’t shop around for prices. Yet those tests might cost $30 at one laboratory and more than $100 at another. Who pays that extra $70? A good chunk of that tab will be picked up by your employer, which ultimately makes it harder for your boss to give you a raise. And some of the cost might be on you, with a copay or a charge to your deductible.
There’s got to be a better way.
(To read the rest of this article, please visit Forbes.)