In her article, “How to Bring the Price of Health Care Into the Open,” Ms. Beck touches on a snowball effect that’s occurring right now in healthcare. As state legislatures, insurers and startups push initiatives to shine a light on the cost of healthcare, the movement is gaining traction. Whereas claiming that negotiated rates between insurers, hospitals and doctors were protected under the Uniform Trade Secrets Act in the past, that excuse no longer holds muster.
But listing average regional costs and historical data isn’t enough. True price transparency will only come when a consumer can look online for a specific doctor, lab, or radiology facility and determine their cost for a specific test or procedure. In other words, it must be as user friendly and as intuitive as checking and comparing prices on any retailer’s website. Detractors love to say this goal is impossible, but it will happen because consumers will demand it.