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SGR Bill's Payment Transparency Provision Elicits Concern

John Commins, for HealthLeaders Media, December 19, 2013

"In general we are supportive of having transparency of quality and pricing information. It is useful for a wide range of stakeholders. It can help patients and their families make important decision," Erickson says. "But it has to be paired with transparency in the process – how that information is calculated and how it is reported out, and there needs to be appeal mechanisms in place."

"It will be challenging because it is a bit confusing when you get into prices and charges and costs," Erickson says. "They all mean slightly different things in the healthcare system. Something may have one price but the actual charge is a little different based on what your health plan charges and what folks pay out of pocket may be even different still given co-pays and coinsurance, etc."

The American College of Surgeons issued a statement on December 10 supporting a repeal effort, but opposing "the current Senate Finance and House Ways and Means Committees' proposal, because it calls for a 10-year physician payment freeze and provides inadequate incentives for providing value-based care."

Lawmakers have until March to repeal or fix the SGR.


John Commins is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media.

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