October 16, 2015
High healthcare spending is widely recognized as one of the most pressing challenges facing the U.S. today. Experts have argued that healthcare price transparency could be a powerful tool for reducing prices by leveraging competition to reduce excess prices and allow a better focus on quality.
In practice, providing consumers with this type of information is more difficult than it appears. New research identifies less than 10% of all health spending is both out-of-pocket and “shoppable,” suggesting there are significant limits on the degree to which consumers can influence overall health system spending, even if they had access to thorough, accurate information on price and quality.
Nonetheless, expanding healthcare pricing transparency is an initiative that legislators and regulators around the country are eager to explore. And there’s good reason to do so—transparency has many audiences.
Adams Dudley, UCSF Center for Healthcare Value
Margo Michaels, Healthcare for All Massachusetts (HCFA)
Lynn Quincy, Healthcare Value Hub