In the United States, health care consumers are frequently left in the dark about how much medical procedures will cost them, and prices vary widely by provider, even within the same city. Recent federal transparency efforts have shaken up the healthcare system, but hospitals are not complying with regulations. On the state level, transparency innovations have proven successful in states like New Hampshire, where they offer consumers incentives to shop for their care. To address California’s documented rising hospital prices and the secrecy surrounding them, state policymakers should implement consumer-friendly tools, such as searchable web databases, to help consumers find the best prices. The state can use existing numbers from claims data and retrieve hospitals’ real negotiated rates to develop tools for patients. With a transparency tool in place, California should consider offering consumers cash incentives to encourage participation in the program.
Mansell, Lawson H.
"Transparency and Incentives: How California Policymakers Can Encourage Patients to Shop for Care,"
Pepperdine Policy Review: Vol. 14, Article 4.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/ppr/vol14/iss1/4