National Partnership for Women & Families

Momentum for Increased Transparency in Health Care is Undeniable, Very Welcome

Statement of Debra L. Ness and William E. Kramer, co-chairs of the Consumer-Purchaser Alliance
WASHINGTON, D.C. — May 15, 2014 —

“Consumers will benefit from lifting the veil on health care costs. The momentum toward increased transparency became more evident yesterday when Aetna, Humana and UnitedHealthcare announced their decision to collaborate with the Health Care Cost Institute to release information about the cost and quality of health care services. We applaud the decision, which will benefit consumers, employers and policymakers who are working to improve the quality and affordability of our health care system. Increasing transparency in health care is essential for better decision making and better use of health care resources.

Importantly, the insurers have committed to providing information about both cost and quality, allowing consumers and payers to know the value of health care services. Many consumers assume that high-cost health care is high-quality health care but, too often, that is not the case. Releasing cost and quality information together will allow consumers and payers to better understand what they are getting for their health care dollars.

Given that more than half of Americans are covered by private health plans, it’s essential that the private insurance industry becomes more transparent. Ideally, data from private insurers will be combined with data from Medicare and Medicaid so that we get a full picture of the quality, costs and treatment patterns of each physician and hospital. Improving quality and lowering the cost of health care across-the-board necessitates that both government and private industry release this kind of information.

We urge other insurance carriers to join this effort and look forward to the launch of the online portal early next year.”

Contact

Ashley Schapitl (202) 986-2600 aschapitl@nationalpartnership.org

About the Consumer-Purchaser Alliance

The Consumer-Purchaser Alliance is a broad coalition, dedicated to improving the quality and affordability of health care in America for consumers and health care purchasers. The project’s mission is to put the patient in the driver’s seat – to share useful information about provider performance so that patients can make informed choices and the health care system can better reward the best performing providers. The Alliance is comprised of leading consumer organizations, national and local employers, and labor organizations. For more information visit our website at http://consumerpurchaser.org.

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