It is no secret that consumer-patients are left in the dark when it comes to health care prices. By looking at our most recent Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws, created with Catalyst for Payment Reform, it is easy to see that most states are not doing adequate work to help guide and assist consumer-patients through the opaque system as most have no idea what they will pay until the bill comes.
Earlier this month, the George Washington University's online master of public health program, MPH@GW, created Illuminating Health Care Prices: Organizations to Watch to help recognize organizations like the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3) who are helping to achieve greater price transparency through various initiatives, resources and tools. Some have created tools, like our Evidence-Informed Case Rates (ECRs), that can be use for payment reform and cost and quality analysis initiatives to help consumers select providers based on value. Others, like the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Choosing Wisely campaign, encourage open, productive communication between providers and patients about pricing. Others still, like Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI), seek to aggregate and organize pricing data when it does become available.
Dr. Neel Shah of Costs of Care says it best: “In 2014, we make purchasing decisions for every other commodity based on transparent price and quality information. Why not health care, too?”
We agree. Why not health care?
Read on to learn more about the organizations and influencers who are helping to demystify this notoriously complex side of our health care system.