"The report offers several examples of how information can be made easily accessible: Providers might post procedure prices on a public website, or provide information on how to make phone or email inquiries to pricing specialists. Many payers, as well as third party vendors, are already offering transparency tools for their members that enable them to make price and value comparisons among multiple providers."
Achieving the price transparency goals will require cooperation between healthcare providers and payers, Gundling said. "Transparency will work best when there is collaborative agreement between providers and payers on the right 'metrics' for transparency, offering different or potentially conflicting information will ultimately create confusion for care purchasers."
"And both payers and providers need to be responsive to feedback from patients/health plan members on what information they find useful when choosing a provider. The HFMA report includes a recommendation to establish "different price transparency frameworks for different care purchaser groups," he said.
For insured patients, the report recommends payers serve as the main source of price information. Providers are best suited to provide price information to uninsured and out-of-network patients, the report contends. And fully insured employers should use and expand transparency tools that help workers identify higher-value providers, according to the report.