Hospitals Urge Collaboration Among Stakeholders to Expand Health Care Price Transparency
Mary Kay Grasmick, 608-274-1820, 575-7516
MADISON (April 17, 2014) ------ As patients assume greater financial responsibility for their health care needs, they need to have meaningful and transparent price information.
The Wisconsin Hospital Association (WHA) and the Healthcare Financial Management Association – Wisconsin Chapter concurred with the findings published in a national report released April 16 that recommends all health care industry stakeholders—hospitals, insurers, physicians and employers-- work together to provide consumers the cost and quality information they need to make informed health care decisions. Link to report: http://www.hfma.org/Content.aspx?id=22275
A task force convened by the national Healthcare Financial Management Association recommended several different price transparency platforms to address the needs of different types of health care purchasing groups. The task force recommended the following:
- Health plans should be the principal source of price information for their members.
- Health care providers should be the principal source of price information for uninsured patients and patients who are seeking care from the provider on an out-of-network basis.
- Fully-insured employers should continue to use and expand transparency tools that help their employees in identifying higher-value providers.
- Referring clinicians should help patients make decisions about treatment plans that recognize the needs of price-sensitive patients and identify providers that offer the best price for the patient’s desired level of quality.
“We have been very proactive in Wisconsin. Our hospitals and health systems have voluntarily provided information about cost and quality of care since 2006, and we are committed to continuously improving this information to make it even more accessible and relevant. Our patients are our partners, and health care is better when patients are informed and consumers are engaged," said WHA Executive Vice President Eric Borgerding. “But more needs to be done. As noted by the HFMA, health plans have a primary role in providing consumers with information about deductibles, co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses associated with their insurance coverage.”
The WHA Information Center website, www.WiPricePoint.org, posts prices for every Wisconsin hospital and hospital-based surgery center for inpatient services, outpatient surgical and diagnostic services, emergency and urgent care services, and other non-surgical services provided on an outpatient basis (such as radiological procedures). WHA publishes quality-related information on www.WiCheckPoint.org.