The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has finalized another rule that requires all direct-to-consumer television advertisements for prescription drug and biological products covered by Medicare or Medicaid to include the list price.
CMS' 'What's Covered' app is the latest example of how digital technology and communications are becoming more and more a part of seniors' everyday lives, especially as trailing Baby Boomers age into Medicare.
Though it may be difficult, taking steps to improve healthcare price transparency will ultimately lead to better patient satisfaction and long-term benefits for hospitals and health systems.
After a recent blood test, I received a bill that indicated the cost would be $527.00. Yikes! Fortunately, the invoice also showed an adjustment of $494.49 for which my insurance company seemed to be given the credit. Good news for me. Not so good for the hospital.
Consumers need data to help them make important decisions related not only to the cost of their healthcare, but also to the quality of providers, facilities and services. While it’s difficult to amass the data – and determine consistent measures – it’s quickly becoming a requirement.
The 2014 “Report Card on State Price Transparency Laws” is out, and its authors give “F’s” to 45 of 50 states. According to the Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3), who collaborated on the report, that’s not progress. Last year, they failed only 29 states.