"If you let the market work, it will be just like restaurants," he said of achieving price transparency in healthcare. "You should know what you're getting and how much it's going to cost."
Friend believes the market forces that have already been unleashed are bearing down on the "vested interests" that oppose greater transparency in US healthcare.
"This is coming because the consumers are getting smarter and are starting to demand it," he said, noting individuals have an incentive to become savvier shoppers as they face wider healthcare coverage options that include a range of cost sharing burdens such as deductibles and co-pays.
"It's now finally going to happen," he said. "The entire health system has to change: 25 percent of the economy. With 25 percent of the economy up for grabs, you're going to have tremendous winners and unbelievable losers."