Transparency, Quality and Cost Containment

Employers are committed to providing innovative, high-value health care benefits at the lowest possible cost to employees. Human resources executives believe reforms should enable employees to be knowledgeable consumers of health care.

All stakeholders — employers, providers, insurers, individuals and government—should work towards common definitions and standards regarding safety and quality. Public disclosure of that information will allow all stakeholders to be better health care consumers. Transparency around quality measures will also allow consistent evaluation of value across the health care system and increase the likelihood Americans receive appropriate, high-quality care. With information on health care costs and the quality of care a patient can make informed, value-based, decisions when it comes to their, and their family’s, health care.

Access to accurate price and quality data not only improves the patient’s experience with the healthcare system, but also allows providers to continually measure their performance. It also provides employers with key information when making plan and benefit design decisions and allows insurers to more effectively incentivize the use of high-quality providers.

Prior to COVID-19, medical errors were the third leading cause of death in the U.S, contributing to about 250,000 deaths per year, and in 2019 Medicare and Medicaid made $103 billion in improper payments. With increased transparency, advanced analytics could be used to review de-identified claims data to identify potential medical errors that impact patient safety as well as improper payments and fraud.

HR Policy Association and the Institute advocate for federal policy reforms that promote transparency, fairness, and competition in the health care system while focusing on cost containment strategies. We’ve supported congressional action to ban “gag clauses” that hide healthcare price and quality information from payers and patients. In addition, we support legislation to address the high cost of prescription drugs that boosts competition, speeds generics to the market, eliminates loopholes, and ends certain anticompetitive practices.

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