Report: Better Pricing Transparency Could Save $100B Over Decade
The health care industry could save as much as $100 billion over 10 years if it improves and increase stakeholders' access to information about health care costs, according to a new report from the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center, MedCity News reports.
The report -- which was prepared by the Center for Studying Health System Change -- offers three policy recommendations to help the industry achieve those savings (Pogorelc, MedCity News, 5/15). The recommendations include:
Developing an all-claims database where consumers can find specific hospital pricing information for procedures from all commercial and government payers -- a function that would save an estimated $61 billion over 10 years;
Storing health care procedure prices in electronic health record systems, allowing physicians to view such information when ordering tests -- an initiative that could save about $25 billion over 10 years; and
Mandating that providers disclose cost estimates to patients for all procedures -- which could save about $20 billion over the next 10 years.
Joseph Smith, chair of the West Health Policy Center's board of directors, in a statement said that the report "found that providing price information to three key stakeholders -- physicians, employers and policymakers -- may have a far greater impact" than just providing such information to consumers (Shinkman, FierceHealthFinance, 5/15).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.