Data alone no help to patients

Health care providers and insurers have access to more information on costs, pricing and quality of services than they sometimes know how to share with the public. And more will be coming from planning committees diligently working to help chart a course toward affordable, quality care for all Rhode Islanders.

How best to distill all that information for the benefit of patients was one of the major questions explored at PBN’s 2019 Fall Health Care Summit.

Panelists noted that simply providing information on pricing, for example, without guidance on how to use it, often doesn’t help patients.

Doctors may be best positioned to be the link between data and patient but that could be undermined in Rhode Island by a shortage of primary care physicians.

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Thankfully, a new state law seeks to address that shortage by allowing physician assistants more flexibility to provide medical services.

The health care challenges facing the state are daunting, but it is heartening to see all sides of the industry collaborating with regulators to find answers.

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