As a healthcare professional, and consumer, it was with great interest that I read the article in Saturday's paper by Tom Murphy about shopping for health care deals ("Patients, firms now shopping for better health care deals," Oct.26). While the theory behind that idea is a great one, my experience this last year taught me that the application is not so simple.

Last November I scheduled a surgery for January. Even though I had procedure codes I was unable to get a price from either the surgical facility or my insurance company. The cost ended up being a fourth of what the hospital told me and my copay was $800. All of this would have been wonderful to know last December when I had to set my flexible spending amount.

I am deeply disappointed by the lack of accuracy and transparency of both the surgical facility and my insurance company. Because now I find myself at the end of the year and frantically trying to think of things I can use my flexible spending money on before I lose it.

Better luck to the rest of you.

Jolynn Fleming