FireLight is a hospital pricing service designed to help people navigate arbitrary and unfair pricing in the U.S. healthcare system.
FireLight provides a user-friendly platform where prices for up to 70 'shoppable' hospital services can be compared, along with quality ratings for each hospital. Shoppable, non-emergency services cover a wide range of procedures and treatments that are typically scheduled in advance. They include x-rays, MRIs and CT scans, tests such as mammograms and colonoscopies, and in-patient services ranging from labor-and-delivery to hip and knee replacements. Currently, we offer price and quality data for several of the largest hospitals in Southern California and Texas and hope to expand to other cities soon. We built FireLight to reveal previously hidden healthcare prices so that anyone (especially those with high deductibles or no coverage at all) can avoid hospitals that charge inflated prices.
Studies have found that prices for the same procedure, within the same city, are often 4 to 5 times higher at one facility compared to another. That's shocking, and it reveals just how deeply dysfunctional healthcare pricing is. Our mission is to increase transparency in healthcare and provide tools that empower every consumer and employee to make healthcare choices with solid information about cost, convenience and quality.
FireLight is one of the first services to reveal actual hospital prices (not estimates) so that individuals and families can better navigate a system that has the potential to damage their financial health. For years, hospitals and health insurance companies have entered into confidential contracts setting the price for thousands of procedures and treatments -- and patients were not permitted to know how much they would be charged until the bill arrived. With prices hidden and no real competition, all of us have been paying for unsustainable increases every year, whether through payroll deductions, our tax dollars (for government health programs) or directly through high deductibles and co-insurance.
What's in a Name?
'FireLight' recalls a time long ago when humans regularly sat around a fire and shared information that was essential for their survival. Today, we keep that tradition alive by sharing information that can help individuals and families survive a healthcare environment that is capable of inflicting great financial harm. We also intend to light a fire under the healthcare marketplace to end to the cozy complacency that surrounds how healthcare is priced and paid for in the U.S.