When West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin had knee-replacement surgery last year, he couldn't make heads or tails of all the medical charges.
There was a bill from the hospital, the radiologist, the surgeon.
Manchin didn't want others to experience the same frustration. He wanted state residents to know what they would pay for medical services upfrontbefore they ever stepped through the hospital door.
So the governor directed the West Virginia Health Care Authoritya state agency responsible for collecting and analyzing healthcare datato develop a Web site listing the costs of common medical procedures.
Now, West Virginians can comparison shop for health services at hospitals across the state.
Using the CompareCare West Virginia Web site, you simply type in a medical procedure and a ZIP code, and the database will produce a chart with the names of hospitals and what they charge. Total cost is broken down by hospital charges and physician charges.
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