3 in 4 adults would not support a federal healthcare price transparency rule if it led to higher costs, but most still want access to more information, a new survey finds.
Three in four adults would not support a federal regulation that improved healthcare price transparency if the rule raised the cost of health insurance premiums, according to a new Morning Consult survey on behalf of AHIP.
The online survey of 2,200 patients showed that patients want more access to information about medical procedures, but price isn’t necessarily their top concern. Only about a quarter of adults had personally used a mobile app or online resource to find the cost of a medical procedure or service before it was performed by a doctor.
Nearly 38 percent of patients said that access to their own health information is of top priority. But 70 percent reported that the accuracy of this information is the most important or second most important feature of an online tool app that would allow medical procedure cost estimation.
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Additionally, nearly 36 percent of older adults aged 65 and older would prefer to obtain research information about a healthcare service by calling their insurance company, the survey found. While another 37 percent would prefer to look up information on their own insurance company’s website.
And two in three adults (68 percent) said that they would rather access a website or app with information about their insurance to be more personalized and accurate.
“When it comes to transparency in healthcare, patients overwhelmingly want two things-for the information to be clear, concise, and customized, and for their privacy to be protected. Any new rules must ensure we protect patient privacy, reduce healthcare costs, and get personalized information into the hands of patients,” Matt Eyles, president and CEO of AHIP explained in a recent press release.
A recently proposed CMS price transparency rule would force most insurers to give consumers instant, online access to an estimate of their out-of-pocket costs. And payers would have to give members paper copies of their cost sharing estimates per request.
After the Trump Administration recently worked to enhance price transparency, payers and providers voiced that they were against the efforts. And this new data from AHIP is supporting the fact that patients don’t want the consequences of having this much data access.
“As we evaluate the full impact of both the final and proposed rules released today, and how they interact with other proposed rules that impact patient and consumer data, we do so with a few key principles in mind,” Eyles explained in recent AHIP comments. “Neither of these rules-together or separately-satisfies these principles.”
The AHA also released comments this week that urged the administration to abandon the price transparency proposal, saying that the policy would “lead to widespread confusion among patients, even greater consolidation in the commercial health insurance industry and other negative consequences for providers and consumers.”
Additionally, 82 percent of adults said information that is more focused and easy to understand is more valuable than information that is thorough but confusing. And adults reported that making the information easier to find (44 percent) and easier to understand (40 percent) would make finding cost information better next time.
But patient privacy is important as well. Current law requires doctors, health plans, hospitals, and others to comply with rules that protect patient privacy. Nearly 90 percent of adults believe technology companies should be required to meet the same privacy requirements as health providers to protect personal health information, the poll uncovered.
Source: Healthpayer Intelligence