The recent report “Price Transparency in U.S. Healthcare: A New Market” by research and advisory firm Aite Group released last Thursday establishes health care price transparency as a growing, new health care market. The move toward health care price transparency is expected to increase revenue for banks, merchant acquirers, clinicians and hospitals based on the growing consumer demand for greater transparency on health care costs. Supporting companies can expect to increase revenue to $1.9 billion by 2016. According to the study, the total market for price transparency products and services will increase from $540 million in 2012 to $3.09 billion by 2016, which is a compound annual growth rate of 55 percent from 2012 to 2016.
Increasing enrollment in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) will be a major influence in the move toward health care price transparency. However, the demand for greater price transparency is not exclusive to HDHP/CDHP consumers, as all consumers desire a balance in quality and cost. Although growing HDHP enrollment is not the only factor in the move toward health care consumerism as the purchases of insurance on the state insurance exchanges start next year.
Health care consumers’ desire to align the quality of care with the cost of receiving care paves the way toward health care price transparencies. Along with consumer desires, legislative changes through the Affordable Care Act have provided opportunities for health care entrants to create a new market by addressing sticker shock, clarifying confusing healthcare bills and helping both insured and uninsured choose providers.
Employers are increasingly hearing about the importance of offering employees tools to help them factor cost into their health care decisions. Such tools are especially relevant as many more employers shift their employees to high deductible health plans or plans with more extensive cost-sharing provisions.
Health care in America is in a time of transition. In the past, the system focused on the needs of employers and health care providers, insulating the end user, the patient, in many health coverage decisions. And, while employers and providers are essential partners in the health care system, now
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When it comes to price transparency, many Americans still don’t have access to meaningful information about the price of their health care, but we can see glimmers of hope in private sector initiatives and public policy.
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