Patient Power Puts Pressure on Prices | Health Policy Blog |

Medicalinflation.iStock_000015019527SmallIt is a step in the right direction. The article notes that government dictating price transparency has no effect — something we have discussed previously at our blog. Nevertheless, there is a lot further to go. For example, one third of the patients had zero co-pay or deductible, so were completely insensitive to price. Also, it still requires too much bureaucratic intervention. Why should a patient have to call the insurer to figure out the best price for the service?For reducing costs, imaging is probably low-hanging fruit. Nevertheless, this experience teaches valuable lessons. Prior authorization alone when an insurer simply makes a yes or no decision on whether it will pay for a procedure is a cause of irresolvable conflict between payers and providers. Because the patient remains insensitive to price, if the physician decides to do the paperwork for prior authorization, it does not reduce costs. This was confirmed for Medicare in a Congressional Budget Office estimate in 2013.

via Patient Power Puts Pressure on Prices | Health Policy Blog |