The Big Cost-Transparency Challenge: Data


If a more hands-off approach were desired, a possible strategy would be to develop standards for CEA, establish priorities to guide the research, expand funding, and then trust the market to use the information wisely. What we cannot do is to ignore costs while focusing on comparative clinical effectiveness alone and hope that somehow this will lead to the use of beneficial services that are not too expensive. Ultimately, perhaps the biggest challenge will be to get the message right; namely, that allowing the concept of value to influence decisions about healthcare spending will improve the efficiency and quality of the healthcare system, not worsen it. Patients deserve to be aware of the cost and quality of the health care services they need, rather than continuing to be blind shoppers with open wallets over which they have no control. But information alone will never be enough for successful transformation to patients selecting lower-cost options, as demonstrated by many failed price transparency initiatives. To improve the efficiency and quality of the health care system, and to decrease costs, policy makers cannot turn only to price transparency models.

what is the cost transparency initiative

We have had a naïve transparency agenda, often predicated on the idea that the free market works in health care. The assumption is that the mere publication of price and quality information will drive people to choose the best health plans. However, this assumption depends on health care operating as a free market—an enormous logical leap.

Implementing Stakeholder Accountability to Limit Healthcare Spending Growth

His role focuses on organic growth through product development and client service initiatives across the firm. We offer a wide range of complementary business services to clients across the globe. Released Medicaid and CHIP data on enrollment trends, telehealth utilization, and children’s preventive care utilization during the PHE. Asset managers should also consider a robust and scalable technology platform as part of their regulatory book of record and focus on data. Data has to be sourced, loaded, verified and calculated, which is the single most critical area.

Public programs should require health plans to report HEDIS and CAHPS and maintain accreditation. Redesign of primary care especially offers a “green field” for better dealing with these issues . Our challenge will be to find an effective way of presenting these choices in a transparent context that includes price and costs. Don’t wait for the perfect technology to be in place; create processes to immediately inject the data you have into planning and decision-making processes. Build spreadsheets that capture relevant information, ensuring this information includes both the cost and business drivers, and use these to better understand how data will improve processes like demand management, chargeback and capacity management. «The availability of comprehensive and transparent information on costs and charges is essential to ensure the pensions industry continues to provide the Irish people with security in retirement,» said IAPF chief executive Jerry Moriarty.

what is the cost transparency initiative

If you have any problems with your access or would like to request an individual access account please contact our customer service team. The total LGPS assets under management falling under the Code is estimated at approx. The LGPS Scheme Advisory Board (Board / SAB) was set up under the Public Service Pensions Act 2013 and the Local Government Pension Scheme Regulations. The purpose of the Board is to encourage best practice, increase transparency and coordinate technical and standards issues as well as liaise with ministerial bodies and relevant sector regulators. Required all 15,417 Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes to report cases of COVID-19 to all residents, their families and the CDC. Introducing the first-ever Medicaid and CHIP Scorecard to provide much-needed transparency on how well Medicaid is serving its beneficiaries.

Additional Hospital Price Transparency Resources

Coinsurance, where the patient pays a percentage of the bill, such as 25 percent, dilutes the price difference substantially. Even large deductibles, which have the potential for providing undiluted incentives to choose providers on the basis of price, do not work if the patient expects to exceed the deductible, which will be the case for almost every inpatient hospital admission. To achieve that will require a critical mass of patients choosing differently on the basis of improved data. Few patients have financial incentives to consider provider efficiency, and most have little awareness of provider quality differences. As such, the potential for transparency to have major impacts on efficiency and quality in the near term is not underappreciated but overstated. However, quality transparency as an engine for better consumer choices and more engagement by providers to raise the bar of practice has the most potential for success.

Investors Need Full Transparency on the Costs of Stock Trading – Traders Magazine

Investors Need Full Transparency on the Costs of Stock Trading.

Posted: Thu, 13 Oct 2022 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Hemal Popat, director at Mercer Ltd. in London, said that the CTI templates have enabled Mercer’s clients to take a holistic view of their investment costs and focus on areas that will have the biggest impact on their total spend. «They manage a lot less than before,» he said, adding that the manager was not terminated. Mr. Waugh, who was part of the group that developed the CTI template, declined to name the manager or specify the asset class. In general, all other things being equal, NUHS will be the least expensive option for all students who want to find a source of their common ambulatory care. This is because Northwestern University Student Health Service does not charge for the office visit, and some lab tests are also “no charge”, regardless of whatever health insurance they may have.

To create a more efficient market, information initiatives must combat both pricing and quality information asymmetries. In a study published in Health Affairs, researchers mounted an online publicity campaign to drive awareness of New Hampshire’s public price transparency website. The campaign resulted in a 600 percent increase in site visits, but health care consumers nevertheless largely remained with their current providers.


Transparency—of the costs, prices, quality, and effectiveness of medical services and products—has been identified as a key tool to lower costs and improve outcomes (Fung et al., 2008; Mongan et al., 2008; Shea et al., 2007). Starting with the most aggressive, one could approve or deny coverage for all healthcare services based on a single explicit ICER threshold. This would require a comprehensive evidence base of rigorous CEAs that were conducted according to established analytic guidelines.

what is the cost transparency initiative

Then benchmark your costs to the market and create a services view of IT cost so that you can drive better decision-making both within IT and across the enterprise. For most IT leaders with financial management responsibilities, the value of cost transparency is self-evident. But we all know the biggest obstacle to achieving cost transparency is the availability, reliability and timeliness of data. For today’s enterprise, the importance of capturing and analyzing the right data grows in direct proportion with the increasing complexity of its IT environment, especially one that has more and more as-a-service offerings. ISG Index™ Market intelligence on the global technology and business services industry.

Capitalizing on the Potential of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

In response to the Trump executive order from 2019, CMS also finalized the “Transparency in Coverage” rule in October 2020. The rule requires insurers and plans to disclose cost-sharing estimates at the request of a consumer and to publicly release negotiated rates for in- and out-of-network rate history and drug pricing information. This final rule anticipates insurer transparency will enable consumers to estimate their cost-sharing prior to receiving health care, encouraging cost-comparisons for competition between providers, similar to the goal of the hospital transparency rule. The specific elements that a plan or insurer are required to disclose to the consumer are as follows. As of May 2020, only six states required providers, health plans, or both to make available all estimated costs and pricing information.

  • To further enhance institutional costs and charges disclosures, an independent working group was created to obtain industry agreement on detailed costs and charges disclosures, which led to the creation of the Cost Transparency Initiative .
  • This is due to many factors, including the judgment and documentation of the health care provider, the complexity of the situation, the coverage by health insurance and the accuracy of the billing process.
  • There are several reasons for this odd construct, but especially notable is the lack of transparency related to price and cost.
  • The appeal of price transparency is based on the view that increased consumer choice and less information asymmetry will aid in achieving higher-quality, lower-cost health care.
  • Redesign of primary care especially offers a “green field” for better dealing with these issues .

This suggests that larger effects will require changes by lower-performing providers to improve, motivated by loss of patients who are seeking improved efficiency and quality. CEA is a method for evaluating the health outcomes and costs of healthcare services relative to one another (Russell et al., 1996; Weinstein and Stason, 1977). CEA evaluates relevant alternatives via the incremental cost-effectiveness ratio . The ICER includes differences in costs between services of interest in the numerator and differences in health effects in the denominator. For ICERs to provide useful metrics for comparison across technologies and diseases, common units for both the numerator and denominator are essential. Thus, ICERs are commonly expressed in terms of dollars per life-year or per quality-adjusted life-year gained.

Playbook – Beyond Hospital Transparency Getting to Fair Price

When considering the effects of medical technology and procedures (“healthcare services”) on health outcomes and costs, and particularly when evaluating strategies for limiting spending or spending growth, there are several challenges. Second, some healthcare services may not contribute to improved health, either because they are simply not effective or because they do not have beneficial effects if used in the wrong patients or at the wrong time. However, these market forces are not those normally considered constructive or functional. Rather than price competition, America rations healthcare costs by not covering a portion of the population for timely health care while requiring the provision of emergency care for all without explicit funding.

Peters E, Dieckmann N, Dixon A, Hibbard JH, Mertz CK. Less is more in presenting quality information to consumers. Goldie SJ, Kim JJ, Wright TC. Cost-effectiveness of human papillomavirus DNA testing for cervical cancer screening in women aged 30 years or more. Berwick DM, James B, Coye MJ. Connections between quality measurement and improvement. Develop a strategy to articulate how you will use information to support decisions or better understand cost in a business context.

A separate challenge in making price data meaningful to consumers involves customizing price data for a consumer’s health insurance. This is a major shortcoming of government price transparency initiatives, which do not reflect what insured patients will have to pay. Insurers have the potential to play a valuable intermediary function, since they can present information to their enrollees that reflects not only the benefit structure of their plan but prices that the insurer has negotiated with providers . Insurers have the potential to go to the next level by analyzing data on provider practice patterns to inform their enrollees about costs per episode, but individual insurers often have insufficient data on physicians to capture their practice patterns. Pooling data among private insurers and Medicare could sharply improve insurers’ ability to support their enrollees with meaningful data on price. In 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services began to require hospitals to share payer-specific negotiated prices for selected shoppable health services to improve price discovery and increase price transparency for patients before receiving care.

what is the cost transparency initiative

The Investment Association and the members we represent aim to be completely open about our costs and charges. We’ve led efforts to create a culture of disclosing costs, and in helping firms interpret regulations, so they can provide useful information to their customers, whether they are individual savers, or institutions such as pension schemes. In addition to working with CoST members at the national level, CoST works internationally with key anti-corruption organisations to facilitate the global exchange of experience and knowledge on transparency and accountability in public infrastructure.

Health Care Cost Transparency Initiative

The aforementioned Transparency in Coverage final rule included provisions requiring insurers to publish, in a machine-readable format, list prices and historical net prices of prescription drugs, beginning in January of 2022. CMS argued that access to such information will give researchers the ability analyze such data and facilitate creative private-sector solutions and encourage price comparison within the health care market. District Court for the District of Columbia on December 4, 2019, arguing that negotiated rates between various stakeholders is confidential information. Additionally, the AHA stated that the requirement for hospitals to disclose “standard charges” did not equate to “negotiated rates,” because negotiated rates are privately set, non-standard rates by nature. The court ruled in favor of the Trump Administration and allowed the hospital transparency rule to take effect January 2021.

At the same time, patients are constrained in their ability to utilize pricing and outcomes data. Patients can still only go to the providers in their network to get the negotiated prices, and they will still have to pay the same negotiated rate regardless of what other insurers have negotiated. It’s not guaranteed, however, that the lowest price previously available will be the one that the market settles on. Shining light on the various discounts insurers negotiate is more likely to lead to fewer discounts than to more people getting them.

NASHP Interactive Hospital Cost Tool

While the Biden Administration has touted its efforts to roll back Trump-era policies, it appears aligned with the previous administration’s efforts to boost transparency in the health care sector, and specifically for hospitals, insurers, and drug prices. Hospital payments should be aligned with performance across public and private payers. So-called never events should not be reimbursed, hospital infection rates should be publicly reported with payments adjusted accordingly, and there should be payment rewards for other aspects of high performance. The Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems , for example, offers many opportunities for improvement that go beyond patient satisfaction to patients’ experiences with inpatient care. “Insurance exchanges” should mandate collection and reporting of performance data by participating plans and demonstrate, through their accreditation, that they protect consumers’ rights.

But even if patients had a more complete cost picture, that would not lead to greater use of lower-cost, higher-quality services. To achieve transformation to higher value, the goal of price transparency, would require changes to it cost transparency incentives and infrastructure. Under this final rule, about 200 million Americans will gain access to real-time price information, enabling them to know how much their healthcare will cost them before going in for treatment.

For example, students who have Northwestern sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan from Aetna Student Health and get their lab testing at our facility generally pay nothing at all because of our collaboration with Aetna Student Health. Students who don’t have the Northwestern sponsored Student Health Insurance Plan will need to pay the charge listed on website and seek reimbursement from their individual health insurance plan, and this depends on a lot of factors. These factors include the specific coverage provisions of their insurance plan, and something called the deductible. This is due to many factors, including the judgment and documentation of the health care provider, the complexity of the situation, the coverage by health insurance and the accuracy of the billing process. Balance billing refers to the practice of providers billing patients for the difference between the providers’ billed charges and the sum of the amount paid by the plan or issuer and the amount collected from the patient initially in the form of required cost sharing. This agenda needs to be accompanied by a major education and communication strategy that explains to all Americans their role in the reform of health care.


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