Massachusetts AG: Go beyond price transparency to provide accessible, affordable healthcare

In an opinion piece published by the Worcester Business Journal, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey argues online price-shopping tools are important, but more needs to be done to provide patients with affordable and accessible healthcare.

The state's attorney general wrote the opinion piece after a report released by her office this month found few patients are using price transparency websites launched by Massachusetts health insurers.

She wrote in the opinion piece that the tools also aren't significantly affecting healthcare costs, which have risen amid a shift to high-deductible health plans.

"This doesn't mean the tools aren't providing good information, but we simply can't rely on them to keep costs down," said Ms. Healey.

The state's attorney general said her office has also found alternative value-based payment arrangements "aren't controlling costs as well as they could because they're too complicated and patients frequently switch health plans."

Ms. Healey said the bottom line is the state can do more to make care accessible and affordable.  She advocated for encouraging patients to pick primary care providers who control costs and the consideration of incentives for healthcare providers to point patients to lower-cost settings.

Read the entire opinion piece here.


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