Get Ready for Price Transparency
But CPR doesn't just ask for transparency, it is ready to help those who are interested in pursuing it. CPR has model contract provisions that would allow for transparency, for example, and it's currently holding quarterly meetings with the four largest national health plans on progress toward price transparency.
"Every quarter we check in with them on their progress on in-house tools and what proportion of providers are suppressing price information," Delbanco says.
After a year of such discussions, she says significant progress has been made on transparency tools.
"We have seen some of the health plans becoming more flexible, but there are some holdouts," she says. "We're hoping this attention to what employers and consumers need will convince those remaining holdouts."
If not, pressure will also come from elsewhere. Though Delbanco says CPR has not modeled the shift, the creation of state-level insurance exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act should create a more structured marketplace for consumers to shop for health plans. She contends that health plans that support strong tools to help consumers be good stewards of their own dollars will have a competitive advantage.
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