Friday, June 26, 2020

The Latest Case for Health Care Transparency

Well, health care cost transparency, anyway.

We've long been advocates of this concept; all the way back in '05, we had an exclusive interview with one of its earliest architects:

"Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Dr Dexter Campinha-Bacote, Aetna Medical Director ... this is a great example of consumer driven health care (CDHC) ... These employers asked Aetna to develop tools that their employees could use to make “better informed decisions.” One of these tools is the pilot transparency program."

Over time, I became enamored of what I named "The McDonald's Model," which was eventually manifested most explicitly by a clinic in Southern California. Again, the emphasis was on providers giving consumers the price of their services up front, just as Ronald McDonald or Burger King tell us how much that burger and fries is going to cost.

Now, FoIB Steve Downey alerts us to the latest development:

"Trump White House wins court ruling upholding plan to require insurers and hospitals to disclose prices"

Well first, good on them - it's been a slog.

Second, it will ... interesting ... to see how (if?) this is actually implemented. As it is, the ruling seems to apply only to "the actual prices for common tests and procedures," the idea being that this will encourage competition and thus lower costs. Obviously, we're all for that latter, but I remain skeptical that this will actually be the end result.

For once, I hope to be proven wrong.

[Hat Tip: FoIB Shari G]
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