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Bringing transparency to the notion of price transparency | STAT

Health care price transparency is making headlines again. In late July, in accord with a recent presidential executive order, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a proposed rule requiring hospitals to make more price information publicly available.

The growing interest in price transparency isn’t limited to one side of the aisle or one branch of government. Republican and Democratic members of various committees in both the House and the Senate have introduced bills to advance price transparency, each with its critics and proponents. Nor are the calls for transparency all coming from the top down. Private groups representing different perspectives in the health care system, including hospitals, medical societies, insurers, and advocacy organizations, are also seeking greater transparency in health care costs or commenting on the form it should take.

I am heartened to see discussion burgeoning around the simple notion that the prices of health care services should be publicly available so consumers can shop for the best value. The current spotlight shining on the issue might make it seem like this is a new concept. In fact, the nonprofit organization I lead, FAIR Health, was founded to bring transparency to health care costs 10 years ago as part of the settlement of an investigation by New York state into conflicts of interest involving the adjudication of claims.

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Bringing transparency to the notion of price transparency – STAT.

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