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Understanding Healthcare Prices: A Consumer Guide

April 16, 2014

In the midst of the ACA enrollment deadline, the Medicare pricing data release and the 2014 Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws, there has been a lot of focus on healthcare prices and how consumer-patients should react and deal with the lack of published prices or price transparency.

Today, the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) released a report that outlines “guiding principles and recommendations for improving price transparency healthcare” for organizations. In addition to the report, and more importantly for you, they created a consumer resource guide that helps you navigate around the healthcare prices and how to go about finding and managing your out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

“People everywhere want to be smart healthcare consumers, but information about healthcare prices is not easily accessible,” said Joseph J. Fifer, FHFMA, CPA, President and CEO of HFMA in a press release. “For too long it has been unclear how consumers should go about getting price information—who to ask, what to ask for, or what the information even means when they do receive it. This approach is a game changer.”

And we agree – a game changer is exactly what our healthcare systems needs! They even take this a step further by asking people to take the Price Transparency Pledge. By taking this pledge, you agree that:  

  • price transparency should ultimately provide consumers with the information they need to understand the total price of their care and what is included in that price.
  • that price transparency should empower consumers to make meaningful price comparisons among providers.
  • I recognize that price transparency should enable care purchasers and referring clinicians to identify providers that offer the desired level of value.
  • I support pairing price transparency information with other information that defines the value of services for the care purchaser.
  • I will encourage forms of price transparency that are easy to use and easy to communicate to stakeholders.
  • I pledge to support efforts to improve price transparency.

We just couldn’t love it more!

Take the Price Transparency pledge and then head on over to our “Join the Fight” section become an INQUIRE Ambassador so you can act on that pledge to bring about publishing healthcare prices in your area.

Follow us on Twitter at @INQUIREhc and let us know if you took the pledge by using #INQUIREblog