How Transparent Are Your Prices? A Top 2014 Healthcare Industry Issue

Price transparency will be one of the top industry issues for 2014 according to recent Modern Healthcare and PwC’s Health Research Institute’s reports.

  • Cost conscious employers are making price transparency a factor in negotiations with health plans and providers;
  • A little-noticed provision in the Accountable Care Act (ACA) requires all hospital to publish and annually update their standard charges for items and services; and
  • Patients, who are being asked to pay more out-of-pocket are demanding more information on healthcare prices.

A National Business Group on Health study found that more than 1 in 5 U.S. employers (22 percent) had plans that required a minimum deductible of $1,250. Also, because of the botched rollout, the loss of medical insurance by over 6 million people, employers downsizing or moving employees onto the exchanges, many citizens will be required to pay more out-of-pocket for their healthcare. Moreover, according to the Wall Street Journal, “bare bones” plans that were supposed to become obsolete will survive because of a quirk in the ACA law — as long as companies offer at least one plan that complies with the law, they can keep offering ones that don’t!