Providers must be transparent about the costs of health care

Giving freedom to patients to shop for services

The part of providers in The Informed Health Care Plan will require that they post all their fees and agree to have only one fee per service. These fees will be described in detail through pamphlets, posters in waiting rooms, web sites, etc – any place where patients will have a chance to educate themselves. Listings would move from most common to least common procedures.

These fees need to be appropriate, fair, reasonable, realistic and, most importantly, unchanging. Patients must be able to expect that they will pay the same price each time regardless of whom they bill or who ends up paying. For their part, providers will be the only ones allowed to set these fees. Each provider will then be able to quickly adjust their prices dictated by supply and demand; creating a true free market for health care.

Some additional guidelines for providers include:

  • Agree to provide all their fees and require signatures from patients (like HIPAA) before appointments.
  • Utilize established CPT codes with the same unbundling rules that currently apply.
  • Re-affirm or charge fees on an annual basis.
  • Understand all laws to end price fixings as it affects them and expect to be prosecuted if found guilty.
  • Post qualifications, credentials, malpractice history, practice history, most frequently performed procedures, complication rate, etc.
  • Expect to be prosecuted for conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in cases where practice patterns reflect abuse or excessive treatment, particularly when litigation or entitlement programs are liable for medical bills.