Report: States to advance healthcare price transparency
The healthcare industry should look to state governments to do the most to advance price transparency in the nation’s healthcare system, according to a new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions report. This is partly because states are in the unique position as legislator, employer, and payor.
"States can play a leading role in advancing price transparency in healthcare which will lead to achieving the ultimate goal of better healthcare at a lower cost for all Americans," said Tommy G. Thompson, independent chairman, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "Price transparency will contribute to a transformed healthcare delivery system in which information is shared and consumers are empowered to proactively care for their health based on firsthand knowledge of price, quality, and service."
Establishing price transparency in this industry is more complicated than is often understood, Deloitte said, but the report offers insight about how price transparency can be achieved without unnecessary tension between payers and providers based on fair and accurate ways of reporting prices.
The report offers three best practices approaches in alerting and communicating with consumers about prices for healthcare services, such as:
  • Using the internet for advancing price transparency and web-based tools that are easy for consumers to access;
  • Price information needs to be offered in teachable moments, when consumers can match the price for a specific service with corresponding quality information and the names of local providers; and
  • Price information needs to be made available for similar/identical local healthcare services with secondary comparative data for regional or national options.
So far 33 states have passed statutes or laws which affect disclosure, transparency, reporting and publication of hospital and healthcare charges and fees. In particular California, Florida, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania have pressed forward with price transparency principles and strategic considerations, the report found.
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