Senators roll out legislative initiative to improve healthcare price transparency

A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to healthcare organizations and patient advocacy groups Feb. 28 seeking input on potential legislation that seeks to increase price transparency.

Sens. Bill Cassidy, MD, R-La., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Tom Carper, D-Del., Todd Young, R-Ind., and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., reached out to stakeholders in the healthcare community requesting information on current policies surrounding price transparency and the ways they could be improved.

"We are launching a bipartisan effort to increase healthcare price and information transparency to empower patients, improve the quality of healthcare, and lower healthcare costs," the authors write. "To guide and inform this effort, we seek comments and further recommendations on the issue. Real world experience and evidence-based policies from healthcare stakeholders and experts will be important to craft a policy that most positively affects consumers and involves best practices from providers and states."

The letter was sent to a number of organizations including American Hospital Association, the American Medical Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, the Association of Health Insurance Plans, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Group, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Foundation for Government Accountability, the American Association of Retired Persons, the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Commonwealth Fund.

The lawmakers specifically ask stakeholders to weigh in on what role all-payer claims databases should play in price transparency efforts and what information is currently unavailable to patients but should be made available to them.

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