HEALTHCARE COST

Insurance Transparency (WSJ)

Transparency in cost can prove helpful to consumers. An important question to ask is whether informed consumers will have enough market power to drive down prices in the face of consolidation of health systems and private practices.

The effort to drive down consumer cost needs to include the elimination of unneeded services that do not impact health outcomes, but allow providers to charge additional fees. There could be cost savings in limiting or bundling charges for follow up appointments where patients do not actually receive care. This might help save patients some time and money at the same time, making the most of each visit to reduce the repeat visits.

The push to reduce prescription drug prices is important to reduce the gap between American and international buyers. But, the funding for research and development need to remain. Molecular drugs as well as biologics are not cheap to formulate, test, and market. But, consumers should receive fair prices, especially for life critical medications.