Trump Expected to Advance Healthcare Transparency

Christopher Cheney, January 26, 2017
Amy Floria
Amy Floria

"Number one," says Floria, "interpreting the information can be very difficult."

Two, I would love to know, when you go to some of these transparency websites, how many people actually know what their deductible is—what their maximum out-of-pocket cost is and whether they have met it?"

She says the accuracy of the information "is a huge complexity that providers need to figure out and overcome. It is not easy. If it [were] easy, more people would have figured it out by now."

Memorial Healthcare System has been figuring out how to provide price and quality transparency for its patients with a set of online tools for about three years. The Hollywood, FL-based health system launched an online cost estimator and quality assessment tool in December 2014, and it plans to have similar online capabilities available for insured patients by April.

Stanley Marks, MD, FACS, senior vice president and CMO at Memorial Healthcare, says the organization has solved many of the problems associated with healthcare transparency with a firm commitment to giving patients accurate and decipherable information about the price and quality of services.

"There was a time when I thought the cost equation was going to be much easier to project than the quality equation; but frankly, they are both extraordinarily difficult."

"The federal government has tried to standardize quality reporting using their [Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services] metrics, and those are huge challenges," says Marks.

"The data that comes from the federal government is very complex and very difficult to understand—certainly for the average consumer. The data is hard enough for those of us who earn our livings understanding and producing this type of data."

Christopher Cheney

Christopher Cheney is the senior finance editor at HealthLeaders Media.

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