Whenever you make a purchase, it's important to know your options. Whether it's learning about the advantages of one flat screen TV over another, or weighing the pros and cons of a new car, doing homework is essential to deciding on a new purchase. In most markets, seeing the specifications of a purchase side-by-side is easy. You can compare cost, effectiveness and other features that help you decide whether it's worth the investment. In the health care field, however, shopping around isn't so easy. 

On this blog, we discussed Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina's new price comparison option, which allows users to see "sticker prices" on treatments and procedures at various care facilities. This is a positive step toward transparency in the industry, but Modern Healthcare reports that many patients don't shop around before they commit to a care provider. 

There are two primary reasons for this. First, customers may commit to a longtime hospital, doctor or care center out of loyalty or habit. By making de facto decisions about where to receive treatments, individuals can miss out on more affordable or more appropriate providers. The second reason is that traditionally, insurance companies and health care facilities have guarded cost figures very closely, making it hard for people to shop around even if they'd like to. 

This year, the Health Care Cost Institute is expected to publish data that breaks down expenses based on the 50 million patients' records it stores in its database. Featuring stats from four major insurance companies, the tool could be a valuable addition to your decision-making process. 

With Independa's intuitive Angela™ platform, care recipients and caregivers can connect to weigh their options and make important decisions about health care needs. Accessible through the convenience of an LG TV or any other HDMI-enabled television equipped with our AnyTV Companion, our systems provide comfort and security to individuals who are aging in place

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