Healthcare Roundup—Healthcare a bright spot in April jobs report, Verma’s take on pricing | FierceHealthcare

CMS Administrator explains her take on price transparency
Amid a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services push for transparent healthcare pricing, there are plenty who would argue that’s just too hard.

Baloney, said CMS Administrator Seema Verma in a column posted Thursday in Real Clear Health. She pointed to two studies, in particular, which found patients who were given price transparency tools were able to reduce overall costs for clinical services. “This research affirms the idea that giving people a choice can be a force to drive down costs in health care just as it does in other sectors of our economy,” Verma said.

The Trump Administration has been ramping up efforts in recent months to improve tools empower consumerism in healthcare, including proposed rules to require data sharing between hospitals as well as post prices.

Of course, Verma acknowledged how tricky posting prices in healthcare can get since charges rarely match prices that patients actually pay. She also pointed out CMS is asking patients and industry stakeholders for ideas for how to make the information accurate and relevant. But make no mistake, things will be changing, she said.

“It’s time for a new era of consumerism in healthcare, with patients at the center of the delivery system,” Verma said. “Patients should be empowered to make the best decisions about their care, and providers should have to compete for patients by offering them higher quality at lower costs.”

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Healthcare Roundup—Healthcare a bright spot in April jobs report, Verma’s take on pricing | FierceHealthcare.