Allina Health, the large Minnesota-based hospital network Gilbert’s doctor belongs to, is one of a growing number of health systems and insurers providing real-time drug pricing information to physicians so they can help patients avoid “sticker shock” at the pharmacy.

The pricing tool, which is embedded in each participating physician’s electronic health records and prescribing system, shows how much patients can expect to pay out of pocket, based on their insurance and the pharmacy they choose.

It also allows the doctor to find a cheaper alternative, when possible, and start the process of getting authorization for a drug, if the insurer requires that. […]

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