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Healthcare Transparency

Healthcare Transparency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - June 24, 2019

From Matt Baker, HHS, Regional Director, Region III

Today, the President signed an Executive Order on healthcare transparency that will go down as one of the most important steps in American healthcare reform, arming patients with price and quality information about their healthcare, ensuring they get the affordability they need, the options and control they want, and the quality they deserve.

The Trump Administration believes that For too long, the price and quality of healthcare goods and services have been obscured from patients, preventing them from finding high-value, low-cost care. These conditions have helped create a system where wide price variations exist for the same services even within regions, with little or no correlation to quality. Making meaningful price and quality information available to more Americans will help consumers make better choices and should increase competition and innovation in the healthcare system.

HHS Secretary Alex Azar released the following statement on President Trump’s executive order on price and quality transparency in healthcare:

“The President’s action today represents one of the major steps in the long history of American healthcare reform, and one of the most significant steps ever taken to put American patients in control of their care. For decades, America’s healthcare system has kept price and quality information secret from the patients who need it. Healthcare experts all across the political spectrum have long agreed this has to change. President Trump is doing something about it and finally putting American patients in control. The President has promised American patients the affordability they need, the options and control they want, and the quality they deserve, and that’s what today’s action helps deliver.”

Below is a factsheet that provides an overview of the President’s Executive Order.

PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP IS PUTTING AMERICAN PATIENTS FIRST BY MAKING HEALTHCARE MORE TRANSPARENT

“We should also require drug companies, insurance companies, and hospitals to disclose real prices to foster competition and bring costs down.” – President Donald J. Trump

IMPROVING PRICE AND QUALITY TRANSPARENCY: President Donald J. Trump is delivering on his promise to bring more healthcare price and quality transparency for American patients.

  • President Trump is signing an Executive Order that directs his Administration to take steps to improve price and quality transparency in healthcare.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require hospitals to publicly disclose prices that reflect what patients and insurers actually pay in an easy-to-read, patient- friendly format.
  • At President Trump’s direction, HHS will begin the process of making information on out-of- pocket spending more readily available for patients before they receive care.
  • Researchers, innovators, and providers will get more access to data that will help them develop tools to provide patients with more information about healthcare prices and quality.
  • The Administration will improve quality measurements and make them public.
  • The President’s order also increases incentives for patients to shop and compare services by expanding the advantages of money-saving Health Savings Accounts.

EMPOWERING PATIENTS WITH INFORMATION: Our healthcare system has long hid the true cost of care, keeping critical information from patient’s hands and limiting competition.

  • For too long, powerful interests have blocked patients from knowing the true price and quality of healthcare, denying them the information they need to make informed choices.
  • Lack of transparency contributes to soaring costs, suppressed competition, and lower quality care.
  • Patients face wide variations in prices, often for the same services, due to a lack of transparency.
  • When armed with accurate information, patients can often identify savings by shopping for healthcare services.
  • Publicizing the true price of healthcare services will allow Americans to make choices that fit their personal healthcare needs and financial situations.
  • Price and quality transparency will promote increased competition among healthcare providers, leading to better quality and more innovative healthcare.

INCREASING TRANSPARENCY TO LOWER COSTS: President Trump is working to lower healthcare costs by improving transparency and promoting competition.

  • The President signed legislation to end “gag” clauses that prevented pharmacists from letting patients know about potentially lower prices for drugs.
  • Recently, the Trump Administration took action to require drug manufacturers to publicly disclose drug prices in their television ads.
  • The President has taken action to empower consumers and expand affordable options like Health Reimbursement Arrangements, short-term plans, and Association Health Plans.
  • In 2018, President Trump launched a blueprint on ways to drive down drug prices and find savings for American patients.
    • After announcing the blueprint, more than a dozen major drug makers enacted price freezes, reductions, or rollbacks.
    • Last year, prescription drug prices decreased for the first time in nearly 50 years.

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