Price transparency is a critical element to reforming the US healthcare system, says a report released this month by the Healthcare Financial Management Association.
"Patients are being asked to take on an increasingly significant share of the payment for healthcare services. They are looking for higher value providers: those that offer quality services at a fair price," Richard Gundling, VP of healthcare financial practices at HFMA, said in an email exchange. "It is impossible for them to make decisions about the value of a provider without having price as a component."
The authors of the report wanted any form of price transparency to be easy to use and easy to communicate to stakeholders. They set the following goals as the foundation for price transparency reforms:
"Transparency won't be successful without clarity of information, or without easy accessibility. The basic point is to make it easy for patients and other care purchasers to make decisions about which provider offers them their desired level of value," Gundling said.