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Task Force Recommends Ways to Improve Price Transparency

Tools include giving price estimates, guidance on out-of-pocket expenses, other relevant information

MONDAY, April 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Price transparency frameworks, which provide price information presented in the context of other relevant information, should be developed to meet patients' needs, according to recommendations presented in a report from the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA).

Researchers from the HFMA Price Transparency Task Force discuss the issue of price transparency, noting that the information needs to be presented in the context of other relevant information.

According to the report, price transparency must provide clear, readily accessible information to patients, allowing them to make comparisons among providers. It will necessitate the identification and development of information and tools by providers, care purchasers, and payers. The task force recommends distinct price transparency frameworks for different care purchaser groups. For insured patients, transparency tools should include total estimated price of service; clear indications of whether providers are in a specific plan; clear guidance of patient's estimated out-of-pocket expenses; and other relevant information such as clinical outcomes and patient safety. For uninsured and out-of-network patients, the provider should be the main source of price information. Providers should be able to give relevant information, including an estimated price, and communicate these estimates and detail what they include.

"Based on the recommendations in this report, the task force calls upon all stakeholders to join in a concerted effort to provide the price information that patients and other care purchasers require," according to the report.

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Physician's Briefing
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