January 01, 2016
Resolution on Health Care Price Transparency
Florida Alliance for Retired Americans
Health care prices are generally not available to the public. There is a strong tradition of secrecy regarding price information. Health care providers have little incentive to disclose prices because health care services are so lucrative. As a result, there is little price competition in health care. If health care prices were readily available, price competition would likely result in lower prices and consumers would be able to make better health care decisions. Health care is the only industry that people buy services without price information.
Rising health care costs and rising numbers of persons without health insurance reduce access to health care services.
Knowing health care prices in advance is important to persons who pay for health care out of pocket, including those who pay deductibles.
Making prices available on the internet has become a standard business practice. Health care providers should be required to post prices if they do not do so voluntarily or otherwise make price information available upon request. The benefits to consumers would be substantially outweighed by the modest costs incurred by health care providers.
Be it resolved that we call upon Congress to enact law requiring all prices charged for health care services to be readily available to the public. Every health care facility, health care provider, health insurer, diagnostic imaging center, clinical laboratory, home health agency, physical rehabilitation center, home medical equipment provider, and pharmacy should be required to make available to consumers the prices that they charge for the services and products they provide. Prices should be available on the internet in an easily navigable manner or be readily available upon request