Price Transparency Efforts Miss the Mark

Most health care price transparency initiatives don’t help patients identify the hospitals and physicians that provide high quality care efficiently, according to recent congressional testimony by Paul B. Ginsburg, Ph.D., president of the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC).

Consumers need meaningful quality data before they decide to choose a lower-cost provider. Perceptions of quality are based largely on reputation among clinicians, but it is by no means clear that a good reputation equates with better outcomes, said Ginsburg. Patients need to know what they will pay if they choose different providers. Employers can change insurance benefit- and network designs to make employees more sensitive to price and shift use of services to higher-value providers. Policy makers can pursue approaches to increase the degree of price competition in the market or regulate prices directly, said Ginsburg. For more information, visit www.hschange.org.

Last Updated 10/21/2020

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