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Review Finds Price Transparency Tools Having Weak Impact on Consumers Due to Low Uptake

A scoping review, published in Health Policy, to synthesize the impact of price transparency on consumer, provider, and purchaser behaviors and outcomes found that price transparency tools had weak impact overall on consumers due to low uptake, and mixed effects on providers. The study found price-aware patients chose less costly services that led to out-of-pocket cost savings and savings for health insurers; however, these savings did not translate into reductions in aggregate healthcare spending. Disclosure of list prices had no effect, however disclosure of negotiated prices prompted supply-side competition which led to decreases in prices for shoppable services.

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