Making Medical Bills Transparent

From the USA Today editorial board:

When you go to the hospital for a scheduled procedure, you ought to be able to find out the price in advance. Today, the chances of anything that consumer-friendly happening are slim to none, but times could be changing.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar recently told a group of hospital executives that the Trump administration was committed to transparency in health care pricing. And a number of states have already enacted laws requiring providers to post prices of the goods and services they are selling.

Price transparency has never been more important. In recent decades, as the cost of American health care has skyrocketed, patients have been paying an increasing share of the burden, often through health plans that have higher out-of-pocket expenses…

Health care pricing transparency is vital to people who are struggling with rising costs. If patients can search out the cheapest prices, they can pressure more expensive providers to cut their prices, thereby introducing a modicum of market economics where it is sorely lacking.


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