Study Finds Pricing Transparency Tools Associated with Lower Health Costs | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Study Finds Use of Pricing Transparency Tools Associated with Lower Health Costs

October 22, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints

The use of health pricing comparison tools was associated with lower payments for clinical services such as advanced imaging and laboratory tests, according to a new research study.

Researchers from the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Berkeley examined the association between the availability of health service prices to patients and the total claims payments. They looked at medical claims over a four year period of 502,949 patients who were insured in the United States by 18 employers that provided a price transparency platform to their employees. What they found was that patients who searched the platform 14 days before receiving care had lower claim payments than those who did not.

Payments by those who used the transparency tools were 14 percent lower for laboratory tests, 13 percent lower for advanced imaging, and 1 percent lower for clinician office visits. Researchers say this translates into $3.45 for laboratory tests, $124.74 for advanced imaging, and $1.18 for clinician office visits.

Authors of the study say that pricing tools may either lead patients to forgo care or increase use, based on pricing. “For this reason, our study cannot determine whether the price transparency technology reduces overall health care spending. Future research should extend this analysis to services beyond the three used in this study. It should also examine how use is affected to better understand the broader effect of price transparency on health care spending and population health,” they write in the study.

The study was published in the recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

News

KLAS Research: Small Hospitals’ Buying Decisions Impacting EMR Market Share

A new KLAS Research report tracks shifts in electronic medical record (EMR) vendor market share among acute care hospitals, and finds that smaller hospitals are seeking technology solutions that meet their needs and limited budgets, and these contracts are making a mark on the EMR market.

Survey: Majority of Providers Predict Success for New Generic Drug Company, Project Rx

Back in January, four health systems, in consultation with the VA, announced a collaboration to develop a new, not-for-profit generic drug company. A survey has found that 90 percent of providers say they would become customers of the new venture.

Personalized Medicine Awareness Low Among U.S. Adults, Survey Finds

Genetics and personalized medicine are not top of mind for the general public in the U.S., according to a recent survey from GenomeWeb and the Personalized Medicine Coalition.

Industry Organizations Praise Senate Passage of VA Mission Act

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday passed, by a vote of 92-5, a major Veterans Affairs (VA) reform bill that includes health IT-related provisions to improve health data exchange between VA healthcare providers and community care providers.

NIH Issues Funding Announcement for All of Us Genomic Research Program

The National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) “All of Us” Research Program has issued a funding announcement for genome centers to generate genotype and whole genome sequence data from participants’ biosamples.

MGMA: Physician Compensation Data Illustrates Nationwide PCP Shortage

Primary care physicians’ compensation rose by more than 10 percent over the past five years, representing an increase which is nearly double that of specialty physicians’ compensation over the same period, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).