Price and Quality Transparency: Tools for Informing Health Care Decisions

April 19, 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) calls for increased consumer involvement in health care decision-making. Transparency in price and quality as a tool for consumer engagement is a critical component of that process. One does not buy food, clothing or housing without comparison shopping. Yet in health care, equally important and typically a large part of the family budget, consumers have not had the tools to compare prices and quality of the product they are buying. The data are spotty and the little data that are available are not consumer friendly.

What tools are needed to compare price? Quality? What does the ACA require with regard to transparency? Will consumers have the information they need to compare products on state-based insurance exchanges? Are the data available? In a consumer friendly format?  What kinds of information in addition to price do consumers need to make choices between various treatment options or to choose a care provider?

A distinguished panel of experts addressed these and related questions.

Sherry Glied, professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, addressed transparency in pricing and quality, and specifically the challenges in achieving transparency in the health care market as opposed to other sectors.

Lynn Quincy, senior policy analyst at Consumers Union, provided a consumer perspective, discussing the critical role of consumer knowledge and decision making in health care.

Lewis Mattison, part of the clincical strategy and innovation team at WellPoint, discussed the transparency tools WellPoint has in place to help members make well-informed decisions about health care.

Jordan Rau, senior correspondent at Kaiser Health News, discussed the challenges of using comparison data.

Ed Howard of the Alliance will moderate the discussion.

This forum will took place from 9:15 to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 19 at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. The event was sponsored by the nonpartisan Alliance for Health Reform and WellPoint,
Contact: Marilyn Werber Serafini 202-789-2300


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Sherry Glied Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Jordan Rau Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Lynn Quincy Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)
Paul Martino/Mattison Presentation (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources