Unmasking Healthcare Costs: Beyond Transparency

July 12, 2023

What You Need to Know: 

Policymakers have shifted focus towards price transparency in healthcare to combat escalating costs; however, merely comprehending the cost increase will not tackle the entire issue. Healthcare providers and health plans must post their prices online under federal regulations. However, compliance has been inconsistent, and the data released by insurers is often hard to use due to a lack of active participation. Bipartisan legislation aims to improve these regulations by requiring insurers to make their data more accessible.

An overwhelming number of employees grapple with the financial burden of their employer-provided insurance schemes, a situation worsened by the absence of transparent price information and soaring costs. Policymakers are considering all-payer claims databases, which exist or are in progress in 26 states, to address this issue. State laws’ variance limits this data’s utility. The potential exists to consolidate these databases into a national database, but skepticism surrounds the effectiveness of price transparency. Congress is also considering legislation requiring pharmacy benefit managers to report data on utilization and spending. However, experts warn that transparency alone cannot manage rising healthcare costs.

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[Source: Fierce Healthcare, July 11th, 2023]

What We’re Reading to Learn More: 

  • The Impact of Price Transparency on Consumers and Providers: A Scoping Review, ScienceDirect
  • Price Transparency: A Boon For Patients, A Bust For Hospitals?, Forbes
  • The Big Idea: How to Solve the Cost Crisis in Health Care, Harvard Business Review

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