HFMA Takes on Price Transparency

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HFMA has assembled a task force to address the issue of price transparency in health care, according to Joe Fifer, HFMA president and CEO, who made the announcement Tuesday at the annual conference in Orlando. The other members of the task force are the Medical Group Management Association, America’s Health Insurance Plans, Leapfrog Group, and Catalyst for Payment Reform. The announcement follows the release by CMS in May of the prices of 100 common hospital inpatient services, followed by the release in June of price comparisons on 30 common hospital outpatient services. (Click here for CMS release.) Fifer urged health care finance professionals to take the first step toward transparency by sharing data with physicians and payors, according to conference coverage posted on the HFMA web site. Fifer highlighted advances made by providers and payors toward price transparency, including online price comparison tools for consumers, as well as several ongoing HFMA initiatives intended to bring clarity to health-care financial practices, including the Patient Financial Interactions Project and the HFMA Medical Debt Task Force. “We will provide perspective to this very misunderstood issue,” Fifer told the audience of health care financial professionals.