What the website Carol.com could mean for care:
• Consumers get detailed descriptions of services and either prices or estimates depending on insurer.
• It could provide a two-way street where consumers can read and write reviews of different "care packages" and eventually create their own.
• Good providers will stand out, attracting more patients.
• It could cut costs and raise quality by getting providers to bundle care instead of charging by office visits and procedures (which encourages overuse).
• It's a lot of work for providers to bundle new "packages" of care and price them, forming a significant barrier to entry.
• Definity and HealthPartners are the only two insurers to sign on to provide actual and not estimated prices.
• It may be hard for consumers to differentiate between packages posted.
• Site remains a work in progress: Independent quality data still to come.
CHEN MAY YEE