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BMJ Op-Ed: Doubts Effectiveness of Price Transparency Regulation to Solve Source of Healthcare Cost Issues

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An op-ed published in The BMJ casts doubt on the effectiveness of regulation that aims to increase price transparency to solve what is creating healthcare cost issues for patients.

Beckers Hospital Review writes of the viewpoint article, that researchers (from the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in New York City) said the proposal from the Trump administration that would require hospitals to post payment rate information online “seems intuitive.” With prices published online, the theory is patients could compare prices and shop for the best value. However, the researchers said studies have shown price transparency tools aren’t widely used by patients. Additionally, some of the most expensive services result from emergency department visits, which patients don’t often have the time to shop for. Plus, price transparency efforts rely on patients to navigate their own way through complex cost and quality information that isn’t always straightforward.

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