"Everyone's initial focus was on quality, because we were learning more and more about how quality varies so much," she says. "When I was at Leapfrog, that was a big focus, but I don't think there was that much awareness of the different prices we paid to providers for the same service."
If Delbanco has anything to do with it, that will soon change.
As consumers are being asked to foot more of the bill for their own healthcare, calls for this type of price transparency will only get louder until they reach the point of deafening.
"The writing is on the wall," she says. "When you imagine a future healthcare system, it's virtually impossible to envision one without price transparency. We're putting more on consumers to share in the cost, and they cannot make good decisions if they don't have this information."
She makes an excellent point. The price murkiness that has long overshadowed the business of healthcare is part of the reason that healthcare consumes ever more of our annual GDP. It's part of why wages have stagnated. It's a big reason why waste and harm in healthcare has historically been a backseat concern. It's why the notion of value for healthcare services has been impossible to measure for ages.