Price transparency initiative encounters resistance in New York

Both hospitals and payers in New York are worried about a new state-funded study regarding healthcare price transparency, Capital New York has reported. The provider and payer communities apparently are concerned that the study would reveal too much proprietary information about their businesses and potentially damage their bottom lines.

"We're very concerned that the study's narrow focus would lead to faulty, incomplete conclusions," Kathleen Shure, senior vice president at the Greater New York Hospital Association, told Capital New York.

The initiative is run by the New York State Health Foundation, Gorman Actuarial, Massachusetts-based Freedman Healthcare and the Managed Care Revenue Consulting Group, with a $450,000 grant to Gorman from the state. It will create a price index for all hospitals involved in the study that assigns a relative price to all hospitals and how those prices correlate to quality metrics and other attributes, including market share, location and payer mix.

Although those engaged in the study say that any data both constituencies consider to be proprietary will remain that way, payers also note that consumers will be flooded with too much pricing information to make sound decisions regarding their healthcare.

"Just throwing information out there without giving it some context, without giving consumers the tools to use this information to make better decisions, to compare provider A to provider B … could also add to the noise for consumers," Leslie Moran, a spokesperson for the New York Health Plan Association, told Capital New York. She also added that providing the price information to the researchers would strain the resources of the state's health insurers.

Most states have received failing grades for providing healthcare price transparency to consumers, with Massachusetts one of the few that has mandated some level of transparency. However, resistance from both provider and payer communities has made the likelihood that any large-scale rollouts of transparency initiatives will take years to complete.

To learn more:
- read the Capital New York article