Washington D.C. –
Have you ever gone to the hospital or scheduled a medical procedure without having
any idea what the price will be? You’re not alone, but a recent action by
President Donald Trump is going to change that.
“We believe the American
people have a right to know the price of services before they go to visit the
doctor,” said President Trump in announcing his executive order to promote
honesty and transparency in health care pricing.
The first order instructs
the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services to finalize a
rule requiring hospitals to make prices available online “as a total package in
an easy-to-read, consumer-friendly format.”
The second part of the order
requires insurance companies and group health care plans to provide cost
estimates to their enrollees in advance of care. It also requires those health
insurance companies to make pricing available to the public.
together, the Trump administration says the order represents the “most
aggressive actions taken by any administration to put healthcare price
information in the hands of patients.”
in health care is a goal that has been long sought by some advocates for health
care consumers. They argue that when the pricing becomes visible to the public,
some providers will have to reduce their prices to be competitive with lower cost
providers of the same quality in their region. They also argue that consumers
will be able to choose to seek higher quality care at comparable prices.
Trump’s Executive Order lays out a few points in making the case for his action:
powerful interests have blocked patients from knowing the true price and
quality of healthcare, denying them the information they need to make informed
of transparency has enriched industry giants at the expense of regular Americans.
the exact same healthcare services can vary significantly in the same area with
little to no correlation to quality.
accurate information, patients can shop around for healthcare services and make
the decision that is best for them.
increasing price transparency and empowering patients we can help lower the
cost of healthcare and drive competition.
from around the country have already utilized priced transparency tools to
reduce costs for their employees.
counter that price transparency could lead to the opposite effect Trump intends,
with lower cost providers raising their rates when they discover they are the
lowest in their region. That argument would appear to run counter to the
fundamentals of almost every American consumer market, but for decades health
care has not functioned as a consumer market.
order continues a string of actions he has taken to make a meaningful impact on
health care through executive order.
President Trump has:
-Signed an order
to “protect and improve Medicare for America’s seniors.”
action to drive down prescription drug prices and increase the availability of
lower cost generics. Those actions, the Trump Admin says, have led to the greatest
decrease in prescription drug costs in half a century.
Reimbursement Arrangements and Association Health Plans
improve health care for patients with HIV/AIDS,
kidney disease, pediatric cancer, Alzheimer’s, and more.
– President Trump signed ‘right
to try’ legislation to allow terminally ill patients who have exhausted all
other treatments to try drugs still in the developmental stages but that have
received Phase 1 FDA approval.