Ohio Receives "D" for Healthcare Cost Transparency


A new report jointly released by Catalyst for Payment Reform and the Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute gives Ohio a “D” for having poor transparency policies that make it difficult for patients to make informed choices before they purchase health care services.

 “We have made progress sharing information about the quality of care, with organizations like Bridges to Excellence and The Leapfrog Group leading the way and federal and state governments getting in on the act,” say Francois de Brantes, executive director
for Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute and Suzanne Delbanco, executive director for
 Catalyst for Payment Reform.  “But with recent studies showing us that the price for an identical procedure within a market can vary seven-fold with no demonstrable difference in quality, price transparency is more important than ever."

Overall, the report gives 29 states an “F” and seven a “D.”  Only two states – Massachussetts and New Hampshire received an “A.”

 The authors go on to say that states can play an important role in ensuring that consumers have access to both quality and price information by setting policies and implementing laws that advance transparency. They further argue that consumers need this information because they are paying higher deductibles and co-pays out of their own pockets.

 “American consumers deserve to have as much information about the quality and price of their health care as they do about restaurants, cars, and household appliances,” they conclude. Click here to see the report.

Ohio, under the leadership of the Kasich administration, became the first state Medicaid program to participate in Catalyst for Payment Reform (CPR) in January 2012. CPR is an independent, national non-profit organization that leverages the collective strength of private and public sector healthcare purchasers to achieve better value and quality in health care. The organization represents consumers, purchasers, labor, health care providers payers and policymakers; 
On January 9, 2012, the Governor's Council on Health Care Payment Innovation adopted the following CPR principles as a starting point to prioritize and coordinate multi-payer health care payment innovation activities in Ohio:
  • Payment reforms should promote health by rewarding the delivery of quality, cost effective and affordable care that is patient-centered and reduces disparities.
  • Health care payments should encourage and reward patient-centered care that coordinates services across the spectrum of providers and care setting while tailoring health care services to the individual patient's needs.
  • Payment policies should encourage alignment between public and private health care sectors to promote improvement, innovations and meeting national health priorities, and to minimize the impact of payment decisions of one sector on the other.
  • Decisions about payment should be made through independent processes that are guided by what serves the patient and helps society as a whole, and payment decisions must balance the perspectives of consumers, purchasers, payers, physicians and other health care providers.
  • Payment policies should foster ways to reduce expenditure on administrative processes (e.g., claims payment and adjudication).
  • Reforms to payment should balance the need for urgency against the need to have realistic goals and timelines that take into account the need to change complex systems and geographic and other variations.

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