DataPath Article on Transparency in Healthcare Featured on FierceHealthcare

Fierce Healthcare

Industry Voices – Trump’s ‘shoppable’ prices order could bring significant overhaul

Oct 11, 2019

By Thomas O’Banion

Originally Posted on FierceHealthcare

Most people wouldn’t think of buying an expensive item, such as a car or house, without performing extensive research and price comparisons. Yet, when it comes to healthcare services, comparison shopping has historically been nonexistent.

However, with the recent signing of an executive order by the president, increased transparency in healthcare and a move toward healthcare consumerism could become standard.

The executive order mandates that healthcare providers publish the cost of medical procedures before consumers receive them. The president’s actions could bring about a significant overhaul of the healthcare industry.

How the executive order could transform healthcare

In the traditional healthcare delivery model, patients tend to pay little attention to the cost of services until they receive a bill. Consumers have had very limited access to cost information prior to making healthcare purchasing decisions and, as a result, are unable to compare prices.

Healthcare providers could get support in this effort from the executive branch. The current administration is looking to help providers develop tools that give patients more access to healthcare prices; it will also improve quality of service measurements and make them public. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been tasked with researching other barriers to transparency in healthcare costs, including developing regulatory steps to address “surprise” billing.

For example, many hospital emergency rooms are staffed with out-of-network doctors. Patients who go to an in-network hospital (as designated by their insurers) may not realize they’re getting treatment from out-of-network physicians. Following treatment, patients are shocked when they receive a bill for thousands of dollars more than they expected to pay. Part of HHS’ research will focus on making sure consumers can get information that will help prevent “surprise billing.”

Read the full article, Industry Voices – Trump’s ‘shoppable’ prices order could bring significant overhaul, on FierceHealthcare.

Transparency in Healthcare - Thomas O'Banion

Thomas O’Banion
Marketing Manager, DataPath, Inc.

Thomas O’Banion is the Marketing Communications Manager at DataPath, Inc. DataPath is a leading innovator of technology solutions for consumer-directed healthcare accounts, COBRA, billing, and payments.

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