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POLICY | AID Joins Two US Reps in Push for Transparency Bill

Perlmutter, Gallagher Work to Ensure Transparency in All Healthcare Pricing — Lack of transparency in healthcare pricing part of core problem in rising costs of healthcare

Washington, D.C. Today U.S. Representatives Ed Perlmutter (D-CO-07) and Mike Gallagher (R-WI-08) introduced bipartisan legislation to require all medical providers, including insurers and drug companies, to publicly disclose costs for all products, services and procedures. The Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2019 requires all price disclosures to be available and accessible at the point of purchase, in print and online, and include all wholesale, retail, subsidized, discounted or other prices accepted.

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“Ensuring accessible price transparency in healthcare is a key part of the healthcare puzzle. It will allow consumers and patients to have the information they need to make important medical decisions for them and their family,” said Rep. Perlmutter. “Improving transparency and accountability in the healthcare market will help drive competition, bring down prices and promote high-quality services.”

“The rising cost of healthcare is one of the issues I hear about most from families across Northeast Wisconsin,” said Rep. Gallagher. “This is why I am proud to introduce bipartisan legislation with Rep. Perlmutter that would require healthcare providers to tell you exactly how much their procedures, products, and services cost. Clear and easy-to-understand pricing will increase competition, and competition will bring down healthcare costs for everyone.”

Marni addressed the group of Concierge Medicine Physicians. Marni James Carey, executive director of AID (left) and Michael Tetreault (right) at the 2018 CMT Concierge Medicine FORUM.

“Healthcare is the only industry where consumers don’t know the price of a service until after they’ve had it done, when they no longer have a choice. If consumers could see real prices in advance, they could shop for healthcare the way they shop for everything else, by comparing quality and price,” said Marni Jameson Carey, executive director of the Association of Independent Doctors, a national nonprofit trade association with more than a 1,000 doctor members in 35 states working to lower healthcare costs. “Once consumers are armed with information, they will move the market. The cost needle could come down very quickly.”

In 2016, Americans spent a total of $3.3 trillion on health care – an average of $10,348 per person – a significant amount of money for the average American family. And surveys show that Americans want to know more about how much their health care costs. A national survey by the nonpartisan organization Public Agenda found that 63 percent of Americans don’t believe there is enough information about how much medical services cost. While Colorado and Wisconsin are two of several states which have made reforms at the state level, this bill would improve the data collection and make all information collected publicly available nationwide. For example, after a healthcare price transparency website was launched in New Hampshire, consumers saw their out-of-pocket costs drop by 11 percent.

When selecting an insurance carrier, consumers receive very little information about the costs of various procedures at their local hospitals and healthcare providers. When selecting a provider and a hospital for a non-emergent procedure, patients are unable to compare prices. Prices for health care are opaque, which can lead to fraud and market manipulation. With transparent prices, consumers can scrutinize the price of tests, drugs and procedures before making a purchase. Studies show transparency in pricing can also deliver better quality of care as providers will seek to provide higher quality services.

H.R. 2569, the Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act was first introduced in 2018. Current cosponsors of the Transparency in All Health Care Pricing Act of 2019 include Reps. Norma Torres (CA-35), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.), Krishnamoorthi (IL-08), Jamie Raskin (MD-08) and Joe Neguse (CO-02).

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Ashley Verville (Perlmutter) – (303) 274-7944

Madison Wiberg (Gallagher) – (202) 225-5665