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New proposal would allow patients to compare health care prices via smartphone | BenefitsPRO

Federal officials are proposing new regulations that for the first time could allow patients to compare prices charged by various hospitals and other health care providers using data sent to their smartphones.
Donald Rucker, who coordinates health information technology policy for the Department of Health and Human Services, said he expects that the rules, first proposed in March, will give patients new power to shop for care based on price and quality.

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Consumers have long sought more knowledge about health care prices, but administration officials cautioned it could take two years or more for it to appear in a user-friendly form on a phone app. Many specifics, including how patients would make sense of complex pricing policies for purchasing health care and insurance and assessing quality via an app, remain unclear.

Rucker said in remarks prepared for a Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing Tuesday that patients “have few ways if any to anticipate or plan for costs, lower or compare costs, and, importantly, measure their quality of care or coverage relative to the price they pay.”

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New proposal would allow patients to compare health care prices via smartphone | BenefitsPRO.

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