VII. Key Issues: Regulation & Reform >> C. Health Reform >> Cost Containment >> Transparency (last updated 3.29.16)


See Transparency under Cost Containment for evidence on the benefits and costs of various approaches to increasing price and quality transparency to consumers. This section is restricted to discussion of federal and state health reform policy proposals related to increasing transparency that are under discussion and not yet adopted or implemented, as well as private sector initiatives to promote transparency. This includes ideas that may have been adopted in other countries or other settings (e.g., large health plans or selected states), but that have been proposed to be significantly expanded to other U.S. populations under comprehensive health reform.

Provider Price Transparency

  • Trump’s Transparent Pricing. “I must admit that I have been skeptical of presidential candidate Donald Trump. However, as a physician, I find a lot to like about Mr. Trump’s healthcare plan that has just rolled out. While many aspects have been brought up by other GOP hopefuls, the aspect of price transparency is different. No other candidate made this point, but it goes to the heart of a true free market in medical care…What happens when prices are transparent? Price transparency fosters competition which fosters lower prices and higher quality. Just look at the cost and quality of refractive eye surgery. In the past 10 years the prices have gone way down while the quality has steadily improved. This cannot be said about the rest of medical care…Transparent pricing, which we are seeing in third-party-free practices and direct-pay medical practices, should be the norm for all medical services. When transparent pricing becomes the norm, we will see how overpriced services have become inside the insurance-payment system. My congratulations to Mr. Trump for pointing out an element of free-market capitalism that has eluded GOP recommendations for healthcare reform for so long.” Gianoli, Gerard, M.D. (Rare Disease Report, 3.22.16)

Insurer Price Transparency

  • Donald Trump’s Transparent Pricing – Part 2. “In a previous editorial (Trump Transparent Pricing—Part 1), I commended candidate Trump’s proposal of price transparency for hospitals and doctors. It is astounding that this has not been an element of the GOP formula for healthcare reform until now and that an outsider had to bring it up. It is so obviously part of a free market that only in an overly regulated healthcare market could it be overlooked. However, there is another element of price transparency that the Trump campaign (along with the rest of the GOP hopefuls) missed. What about insurance industry price transparency?” Gianoli, Gerard, M.D. (Rare Disease Report, 3.28.16)


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