Report: Health Pricing Transparency Could Save $100B Over Decade

May 16, 2014 in News

The health care industry could save as much as $100 billion over 10 years if it improves and increases stakeholders’ access to information about health care costs, according to a new report from the Gary and Mary West Health Policy Center, MedCity News reports.

Report Recommendations

The report — which was prepared by the Center for Studying Health System Change — offers three policy recommendations to help the industry achieve those savings (Pogorelc, MedCity News, 5/15). The recommendations include:

  • Developing an all-claims database where consumers can find specific hospital pricing information for procedures from all commercial and government payers — a function that would save an estimated $61 billion over 10 years;
  • Storing health care procedure prices in electronic health record systems, allowing physicians to view such information when ordering tests — an initiative that could save about $25 billion over 10 years; and
  • Mandating that providers disclose cost estimates to patients for all procedures — which could save about $20 billion over the next 10 years.

Joseph Smith, chair of the West Health Policy Center’s board of directors, in a statement said that the report “found that providing price information to three key stakeholders — physicians, employers and policymakers — may have a far greater impact” than just providing such information to consumers (Shinkman, FierceHealthIT, 5/15).

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