Healthcare price comparisons may be coming to your smartphone

Federal officials are proposing sending data to patients' smartphones so they can compare healthcare prices, according to Kaiser Health News.

The proposal aims to empower consumers to compare and base their care decisions on price as well as quality, Donald Rucker, who coordinates health IT policy for HHS, is quoted as saying in the KHN report.

Mr. Rucker said in remarks prepared for a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing May 7 that patients "have few ways, if any, to anticipate or plan for costs, lower or compare costs, and, importantly, measure their quality of care or coverage relative to the price they pay."

But tech-minded consumers should slow their scroll. Sharing healthcare prices on cellphones won't be a quick process, federal officials said.

It could take two years or more to enable healthcare prices on smartphones in a user-friendly format, via an app, according to KHN.

The proposal comes as lawmakers in the Senate are examining regulations proposed under the 21st Century Cures Act, which supports healthcare innovation infrastructure.

Read the full KHN report here.


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