Healthcare transparency. It's been a hot topic for years, but is more important now than ever. With medical costs on the rise, employers looking for ways to cut healthcare expenses, and more consumers on high-deductible plans, improving healthcare transparency is an important part of raising both the quality and efficiency of our healthcare system.
Healthcare transparency benefits everyone. Employers save on healthcare costs and can better inform and engage their employees. Patients can make decisions about care in a thoughtful way and budget for their healthcare expenses. Doctors are then more likely to get paid, and gain recognition for high-value care.
And there's this: as a country, better healthcare transparency could save us billions in avoidable healthcare costs.
But the road to healthcare transparency has been more of an uphill climb. Last year, a mere 5 states received passing grades on the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute's Price Transparency Report Card. The price range in comparable healthcare services is still frighteningly wide. Only now are key players in the industry beginning to develop transparency tools to turn patients into informed healthcare consumers.
So how do we make healthcare shoppable? More legislators, insurers, and healthcare organizations need to get involved, and provide practical tools for employers and consumers. Both UnitedHealthcare and CastlightHealth have released online pricing tools that help consumers cut medical costs. Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina promises to follow in their footsteps, with an online healthcare pricing tool for over 80% of elective, non-emergency procedures.
GoodRx, Healthcare Bluebook, Health in Reach, and HealthSparq are also leading the healthcare transparency movement by giving the consumer pricing comparisons among providers and retailers. They understand the power of turning patients into informed healthcare consumers. Let's hope key players in the industry follow suit soon.
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Tweetable Stats & Headlines
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- The U.S. spends $300 billion each year in avoidable healthcare costs. >tweet this<
- $9,699 - $29,076: range in childbirth care costs in NYC hospitals. >tweet this<
- 96% of CFOs surveyed by Harris Poll say employers need more info on healthcare pricing. >tweet this<
- 18% of employers only provide high-deductible health plans. >tweet this<
- Last year, only 5 states passed the healthcare price transparency test. >tweet this<
- CastlightHealth pricing tool helps consumers cut lab test costs by 14%. >tweet this<