Trump Expected to Advance Healthcare Transparency

Christopher Cheney, January 26, 2017
Suzanne Delbanco, PhD
Suzanne Delbanco, PhD

Despite the obstacles involved in giving patients real-time information about the price and quality of its services, the leadership team at Memorial Healthcare has determined that the effort is essential to the organization's long-term success.

"If you are not showing and being transparent about both price and quality, you are not going to be able to practice healthcare. Those organizations that are in the forefront and are trying to provide transparency in a way that lends a level of clarity to both the quality and the price of services will clearly be the winners," Marks says.

Regulatory vs. Market-Oriented Approaches
While Trump favors increasing healthcare transparency, he has not said whether this goal should be achieved through regulation or market forces.

If the Trump administration and Congress embrace a regulatory approach, Floria says healthcare providers should be able to rise to the challenge if new regulations build upon successes achieved in states such as New Hampshire, which received an "A" grade for state price transparency laws in 2016.

"If President-elect Trump came out and said we have a year to figure out how to provide a cost estimate at time of service for out-of-pocket costs and the price that a patient's insurance is going to pay, healthcare providers would figure it out, as long as the language was to provide a reasonable estimate," she says.

"I am not someone who advocates for national regulation on pretty much anything; but if it came to pass, we would toe the line and figure out a way to do it just like every other regulation that has come down the pike in healthcare."

"National regulation may be what it takes to make transparency in healthcare widespread," says Floria.

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