Consumer Cost Transparency Initiatives in Pennsylvania

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D Harris, Jefferson College of Population Health, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA


Several initiatives were examined to determine which policy proposition Pennsylvania consumers would benefit from to increase cost transparency. The research focused on all-payer claims databases, reference pricing and bundled payments and how consumers could utilize these tools to shop for low-price, high-quality outpatient procedures. Qualitative interviews were conducted with several industry subject matter experts to investigate their opinions on how a state-mandated increase would affect all stakeholders involved. Results indicate that experts dealing with hospitals directly favor a bundled payment approach as the delivery and cost of care is predictable. One common theme of the qualitative study was a consensus that each initiative can contain the future costs of healthcare for various reasons. Many other states have initiated some type of cost transparency effort. Pennsylvania lawmakers, insurance companies, healthcare organizations and providers must identify the best approach for the greater good of all stakeholders involved.

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