Reduce Healthcare Costs through Competition and Price Transparency

 
 

Runaway healthcare costs are the top concern of American consumers and employers. The price of healthcare is a black box to American consumers. Patients are simply expected to write a blank check when they receive care, with no idea of the real prices, or any ability to shop based on price and value. Patients today suffer from large, surprise medical bills. Some take years to repay at great expense; the less fortunate go bankrupt. Patients are sacrificing their wages to increasing premiums, and their wallets to undisclosed, exorbitant healthcare bills.

Business owners, especially small and medium sized businesses, who often cover the bulk of health insurance premiums, face crushing costs that limit growth and investment. They cannot recruit or retain the employees they need because the cost of care limits what they can pay. Without access to prices or care history, employers pay for duplicate tests or they are forced to receive care from providers that charge ten times the amount charged elsewhere for the very same service. It all adds up to bad care, higher costs for employers, and lower salaries for employees.

Access to real price information changes that, allowing patients to shop and compare services based on price and quality. Market competition drives down costs. Real price transparency leads to more economic growth, more jobs, and higher pay. You can be part of this change: Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT seeks comment on a regulation that will make it easier for patients to access real price information and their electronic health information.

Access to real price information means:

Patients and businesses can make more informed choices about what care they receive and who provides it before receiving that care. Free, real-time access to their electronic medical records will allow them to better manage their health and budget, to share with whomever they please, and to save valuable time away from work or home.

Tech Companies can finally bring the customer-focused revolution to healthcare, just as they’ve brought us Google, Amazon, and Uber. Price transparency allows innovators to create new tools and services that help patients become smarter, better-educated consumers.

Physicians can make treatment and medication decisions with the patient’s complete health information, prevent duplication of work, and ensure that patients will be able to afford and follow through on treatments, medications and recommended specialists. All of this means better care, better patient health, and lower overall health expenses.

Solving the Problem

The Trump Administration has the authority and regulatory tools to create a truly competitive healthcare marketplace through system-wide price transparency. You can help advance a real market-based solution by doing two things:

First, submit comments here to tell HHS your story and express your support for the ONC Interoperability Proposed Rule (RIN 0955-AA01) and CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Proposed Rule (RIN 0938-AT79). Please tell HHS to:

  • Give patients access to pricing and all of their electronic health information, real-time, automatic, and free.
  • Require system-wide Real Prices to be posted online, easy to search and access in advance of care empowering patients and employers to shop.
  • Enforce access to Real Prices under Information Blocking provisions and penalties.

Second, please ask your community of supporters to write in support using such talking points to support and refine the Rule. Comments will be accepted from NOW until June 3rd.