Medical system definitely does not favor consumer empowerment.
I coulda sworn you were an executive at a biomedical startup and shit. That makes this statement the equivalent of Maximus Decimus Meridius stating that gladiatorial combat does not favor kittens.
My wife nearly lost a client last week. Lady left a voice mail freaking out over the fact that her insurance wasn't covering routine blood tests - they stuck her for a thousand dollars and oh holy fuck it wasn't like this with the last kid. My wife had to call her back and say "you have a five thousand dollar deductible. With the last kid you had a zero deductible. That's what deductible means - it means you will pay, with few exceptions, five thousand dollars before insurance will cover anything."
Our allowed charges for procedures vary by an order of magnitude depending on which insurance company is paying. That's why we have not one but two billing subcontractors.