FAIR Health (FH), an independent nonprofit organization, recently launched an online medical cost search tool that enables consumers to look up the cost of medical services in their area. This tool and other consumer education resources are available at www.fairhealthconsumer.org.
A brief (8 minute) introductory video on the site demonstrates the search function using the CPT code for physical therapy evaluation, 97001. Resources include FH Reimbursement 101, a video and several guides to help consumers decipher insurance terminology.
Due to licensing agreements, users are limited to 20 searches per week. FH recommends that users print search results in order to avoid duplicate searches. Searches can contain up to 5 codes at a time. Additional features include the ability to adjust the copayment level and adjust the percentile used by the insurer to determine out-of-network reimbursements to plan participants.
FH was established following a 2009 New York state investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest in a system used by third-party payers to calculate out-of-network reimbursement for their subscribers. For more information, go to http://www.fairhealthconsumer.org/faq.aspx.