CPR has released a set of specifications that employers can look at when comparing consumer transparency tools among health plans. The specifications represent the best of the best.
Meanwhile, the price secrecy clauses need to be eliminated. "The truth is that it's only a small proportion of providers who have these clauses, but tends to be the ones that matter a lot," Delbanco says. That means the biggest systems with the biggest market power in their community are often those who are standing in the way.
Given how rapidly consumers are being asked to pick up the cost of healthcare and given benefit design in how those dollars are spent, there will be increasing pressure to be price-transparent.
Providers "can be a player or not," she warns. "But as consumers get wiser about the connection between cost and quality, and as we reveal the facts that price has no bearing on quality, we'll work toward a marketplace where providers compete on value in terms of quality and cost, not just one or the other."