New Trump executive order seeks more transparency in health care costs

New Trump executive order seeks more transparency in health care costs

The president also took a jab at Sen. To avoid price wars, "you need some ability to monitor your competitor, that they're not secretly cutting the price in order to gain more market share".

Lowering costs for care has bipartisan support on Capitol Hill but is seen as a weak spot for Republicans in the next election.

June 24 (UPI) - President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday afternoon aimed at making patients more aware of their healthcare costs earlier in the treatment process.

"With today's historic action, we are fundamentally changing the nature of the healthcare marketplace", he said.

Trump said his order would force hospitals to offer more information to patients about the services that they were paying for so they could search out a better doctor.

The idea is simple.

"It's hard to justify a system where patients can't know in advance what they're going to have to pay for health care", tweeted Larry Levitt, senior vice president at Kaiser Family Foundation. Some consumer advocates welcomed the move.

However, they said the level of detail that would be required to comply will be made available as part of the proposed rule-making process. "Publicly disclosing competitively negotiated, proprietary rates will reduce competition and push prices higher - not lower - for consumers, patients and taxpayers", Matt Eyles, president and chief executive officer of America's Health Insurance Plans, said in an emailed statement.

He said it would "blow everything away" in the health care industry. "We know that is a formula for higher costs and worse care for everyone". Many economists have similar concerns.

But insurers said the idea could backfire, prompting hospitals that now give deeper discounts to try to raise their own negotiated prices to match what high earners are getting.

Monday's executive order also makes changes behind the scenes, ordering the government to streamline how it measures quality of care and release loads of claims data to researchers, so they can brainstorm ways to cut costs.

"This landmark initiative continues our work to put American patients first", Trump said at the White House.

Last month, Azar announced that drug makers will have to start including the list price of medications in their television ads.

However, several of President Trump's past health care announcements have gotten tied up before the promises to lower costs could be realized.

In October of past year, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services proposed an worldwide pricing model for setting what Medicare Part B would pay for certain drugs.

The main trade group for hospitals, the American Hospital Association, didn't immediately comment on Trump's proposal.

To another story now, the cost of medical procedures. The real cost is often a huge mystery to patients, and it can vary hugely from hospital to hospital.

This is the third executive order President Trump has signed relating to healthcare.

Interested in Donald Trump? But even if this doesn't mean we're out of the worst of the opioid epidemic, these numbers could be a sign that some of our methods for combating overdose deaths are working.

Many health care prices are veiled behind contracts between hospitals and insurers.

KELLY: All right. We are joined now by NPR White House correspondent Tamara Keith.

Patients should have that information ahead of time to help them make decisions, he added. And for people with high deductibles or no insurance, this could make a difference in their daily lives.

KEITH:.And you're in a hurry, and you don't have time to shop around.

'No Americans should be blindsided by bills they never agreed to, ' he noted. Price doesn't necessarily drive people in the same way that it would if you were shopping for a vehicle or groceries. "We believe the American people have a right to know the price of services before they go to visit the doctor". You get much better pricing, the doctor you want and maybe you'll get better than the doctor you originally thought about. It doesn't drive your behavior.

According to the order, the disclosures would reflect rates negotiated.

Bill Pierce is a senior director at APCO Worldwide, but he's also a former HHS official under the George W. Bush administration. They're going to go, nope, want 200.

KELLY: NPR's Tamara Keith, our White House correspondent.

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