Whether it is transparency around insurance or prescription drug costs, VCs have plowed $400 million into healthcare transparency startups

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Healthcare access is expected to reach millions of new consumers with the passage of Affordable Care Act going into effect next year. And investors are betting that startups providing transparency around healthcare costs will be crucial in improving efficiency for patients, providers, hospitals and insurance companies.

While healthcare price transparency is a relatively new area of investment, startups in the space can be broken down into four different sub-categories listed below.

Insurance Transparency For Businesses and Employers – Companies that provide price transparency solutions marketed toward businesses, allowing employers to to manage health plan costs and enable employees to become more knowledgeable around their health plans.

Insurance Price Transparency for Consumers – Companies aimed at reducing healthcare price complexities for families or individuals trying to select or manage their health plans.

Price Transparency for Healthcare Companies – Companies that allow healthcare providers to market patient costs and services or capture patient billing in order to reduce lost charges and accounts receivable days.

Prescription Drug Price Transparency Solutions for Consumers – Companies providing price transparency solutions specifically for pharmaceutical healthcare needs.

Since the start of 2010, startups in the healthcare price transparency space have taken $400M across 49 deals. The majority of that funding has gone to later-stage rounds to mature companies including Castlight Health, which has raised $160M since 2010 from investors including U.S. Venture Partners and Venrock for its healthcare management suite, as well as health insurance comparison portal GoHealth, which took a $50M investment from Norwest Venture Partners in 2012.

While later-stage rounds are driving funding in the healthcare price transparency space, deal growth is primarily concentrated at the early-stage. 47% of deals in 2012 came at the Seed/Angel stage from investors including Rock Health, 500 Startups and StartUp Health, while 67% of deals in 2013 to date have taken place at the Seed or Series A stages including Lerer Ventures-backed Maxwell Health and PokitDok, backed by New Atlantic Ventures and Rogers Venture Partners.