Complexities of price transparency in health care makes it an elusive goal

PRICE TRANSPARENCY: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island CEO and President Kim A. Keck, center, says while most insurers have tools to share cost information and pass them along to members and providers, price distributions aren’t widely used because when patients have a health issue that needs to be addressed, they aren’t likely to cost-compare and shop for services. Keck is flanked by, from left: UnitedHealthcare of New England CEO Stephen Farrell; R.I. Health Commissioner Marie L. Ganim; Coastal Medical CEO and President Dr. Alan Kurose; and Rhode Island Foundation CEO and President Neil D. Steinberg. / PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI
PRICE TRANSPARENCY: Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island CEO and President Kim A. Keck, center, says while most insurers have tools to share cost information and pass them along to members and providers, price distributions aren’t widely used because when patients have a health issue that needs to be addressed, they aren’t likely to cost-compare and shop for services. Keck is flanked by, from left: UnitedHealthcare of New England CEO Stephen Farrell; R.I. Health Commissioner Marie L. Ganim; Coastal Medical CEO and President Dr. Alan Kurose; and Rhode Island Foundation CEO and President Neil D. Steinberg. / PBN PHOTO/MIKE SKORSKI
Prices attached to health care services and products need to be more transparent, according to panelists at the Providence Business News 2019 Fall Health Care Summit, but the issue remains so complex that insurers and providers have yet to agree on the most effective approach. The six panelists in the summit’s first session on Oct.…

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