There are a lot of things driving up the cost of medical care in the U.S. Poorly managed chronic diseases and increasingly expensive medical equipment and drugs are partly to blame. But a lack of consumer awareness of how much health care actually costs is just as important. What was the full cost of the last medical procedure, surgery or checkup you had? If you have comprehensive health insurance, chances are good that you have no idea. This is a problem because it means you have no idea if you were getting gouged or if you got good deal. You therefore had no incentive to shop around or negotiate.
Barbara Kiviat, my colleague over at TIME’s Curious Capitalist, is tuned in to consumer behavior in a way that most aren’t and she has taken her nagging ankle pain and turned it into a plan for how to curb health care spending. She thinks there should be total transparency and even price tags for everything in medicine. Read about her plan here and here.