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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

What is health care transparency

What is health care transparency?

{Q}There is no correlation between cost and quality. Prices for medical services can vary greatly - even for the same procedure, in the same area, within the same network.{EQ}

cloud-based software helps employers gain control over health care spending.

http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=1769895 Until very recently, health care in the United States was delivered behind the secure walls of a fortress that kept information on the prices charged for health care and the quality of that care opaque from public view.

Over time, enormous and ever-increasing amounts of money have disappeared behind the fortress walls. Much good undoubtedly was done for patients entering the castle in search of succor. 

But it has been nearly impossible for prospective patients thinking of entering the health care system to know what they or someone else will have to give up in return for whatever care they will receive from the inhabitants of the fortress.
 in a recent article in The Journal of the American Medical Association, imagine a department store whose customers are blindfolded before entering. A shopper might enter the store seeking to buy an affordable dress shirt and a tie, but exit it with a pair of boxer shorts and a scarf. Sometime later, he would receive an invoice, whose details would be incomprehensible to him, save for one item: a dollar amount in a framed box with the words: “Pay this amount.”

http://tinyurl.com/kuzfyok {Forbes} {Q} Mr. Sonenreich is quoted from an appearance on public radio affiliate WRLN with this provocative commitment:

“We’d be willing to put our prices to all the insurance companies out in public and we would welcome that kind of transparency of everyone in the marketplace.”

He’s not talking about “chargemaster” rates here. These are the contractual rates that the hospital has negotiated with the insurance companies.{EQ} know, the secret ones. Here’s    commitment. I’ll publish (or link to) those rates when they do become public.{EQ}