For years, policymakers across the political spectrum have sought to make the U.S. healthcare system more transparent. Unfortunately, the status quo too often incentivizes policies and practices that seem designed to keep patients in the dark about the real cost of their care. And, as some sectors of the healthcare system have become more consolidated and less competitive, more power has shifted toward health plans and pharmacy benefit managers. When it comes to new and emerging drugs and treatments, an opaque and complex web of discounts and rebates forces patients and caregivers to rely even more on these entities. Even worse, it tends to stop any serious reform efforts in their tracks.
The results speak for themselves: Every year, patients are forced to pay more for new therapies and medicines even as manufacturers and suppliers are required to offer more and more concessions.
This past summer, PAAP began a conversation with experts across the country to discuss the current state of healthcare transparency and possible paths forward. This week, we released a white paper – entitled “Giving Patients a Window into Healthcare Costs: A Path Toward Healthcare Transparency” – that brings that conversation into greater focus. In addition to outlining key health policy issues and possible solutions on transparency, the paper also promotes examples that could help in the creation of a more patient-focused healthcare system.