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Healthcare Transparency - The Problem

Posted by Health Entrepreneur 03/01/2016

As there is increased exposure to healthcare costs there is even greater and meaningfull need as well as transparent price information. This would necessitate all the stakeholders commit to enable access to the right information about price, quality as well as safety to patients to help them make informed healthcare decisions. This article will bring into focus these issues.

 
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With increased exposure to healthcare costs there is even greater and more urgent need for meaningful as well as transparent price information. This would necessitate that all stakeholders commit to enable access to the right information about price, quality as well as safety to patients to help them make informed healthcare decisions. This article will bring into focus these issues, while presenting other information in similar context. 
 

What is healthcare transparency and what defines healthcare transparency? 

Transparency and better public information on quality and cost are needed for a few important reasons. 

1. Helping providers improve their quality by benchmark standards created which tests their performance against that of others. 

2. To help patients make informed choices about their health care and 

3. To ensure and encourage public sector and private insurers to reward efficiency and quality. 

The information asymmetry that is the experience of many consumers, payers and providers is currently seen to shield the critical shareholders and stakeholders from information that is much needed by them to make the necessary decisions regarding what works best for them. 

Transparency is seen as a tool to help level the playing field. The potential for transparency to address a variety of areas of the healthcare delivery system – which includes cost, quality and outcomes – which means highlighting vital information to consumers, payers, providers and stimulating savings and quality improvements. 

What are the developments so far?
 
With great efforts from the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) which has focussed on health plan’s transparency and Aetna’s Excel Initiative on transparency of clinical quality and cost efficiency, there has been a greater attempt to bridge the gaps in information asymmetry. Transparency of prices, costs, effectiveness and quality of medical services is seen is as a key tool to improve performance and outcomes while lowering costs.

 

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