New tool helps patients search care prices by physician, insurance plan

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San Francisco-based health data company Amino launched a new tool that enhances consumers' search of procedure prices based on physicians and insurers.  

The cost estimate tool helps consumers determine out-of-pocket expenses for 49 medical procedures based on region and insurance benefits. The tool uses data from hundreds of millions of healthcare insurance claims, worth about $860 billion last year.

"Gaining access to pricing information has proven incredibly difficult," Amino CEO and Co-Founder David Vivero said in a prepared statement. "Industry efforts at price transparency have missed the mark."

Price estimates for users are based on other consumers who had the same insurance, used the same physicians and seeking care for the same procedures. The tool also provides information about insurers and procedure terminology.

Prices are not guaranteed, but statistics help determine a typical price, Mr. Vivero said. Amino includes quality data in addition to price data.

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