Volume 4 Issue 18, August 29, 2017
In 2016, Ohio passed the Healthcare Price Transparency Law, which would force healthcare providers to give patients a “good faith” estimate for non-emergency service expenses after considering insurance reimbursement. The Ohio Hospital Association, among others, has successfully fought implementation to date with claims that the expense of healthcare is too complex for such an attempt to be consumer-friendly.
On the other hand, Massachusetts’ patients can request an estimate post-admission if they request it, Nebraska requires hospital clinics to post the average charge for their services, and New Hampshire has a website where anyone can compare various healthcare costs.
The reasons for the resistance in Ohio and elsewhere are multiple and they point to a central problem – the industry of healthcare is fighting innovation, threatened by the same transparency that we expect from our local mechanic, a national grocery store, or an online travel service.
Despite the challenges, there are several good reasons why price transparency could fuel much needed healthcare consumerism:
Rebels like those that led the Ohio transparency effort will continue to face enormous odds because of the symbiotic nature of the American healthcare system, especially the unholy alliance among hospitals, physicians, and insurance companies. Price transparency is becoming an expectation for all of us and it is one way to keep the focus to better healthcare accountability for everyone.
Think about it the next time you go shopping while trying to manage within your family budget.
Tom was the Founder and Managing Partner of VERTESS. He was a Certified Merger & Acquisition Advisor (CM&AA), consultant, and Licensed Psychologist with over 35 years of very successful national experience in the healthcare marketplace, including co-founding and building a $25 million behavioral health/disabilities services company. Tom represented sellers and investors across the healthcare spectrum and was recognized for his executive leadership in the 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year issue of Inc. Tom passed away in December 2018.