Trump administration to mandate more open medical pricing

Trump administration to mandate more open medical pricing


Craig Gotwals is all over this potentially good news for the supporters of free enterprise:
Post on Gotwals blog

This proposed regulation has the potential to do more for healthcare price containment and transparency than the 40,000 pages of statues and regulations spawned by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA” or “Obamacare”). The Trump Administration is considering a regulation to compel doctors, hospitals and other healthcare providers to make the “secret” agreements on pricing they have in place with the insurance industry publicly available. For the first time in the history of modern insured healthcare in America, the public would actually know the real prices and the free market would begin to be unleashed.

Obviously there will be tremendous pushback by the medical oligopoly and the Democrats who want the current system to totally fail so they can ram through socialized medicine.


How would you utilize price information if it were available?

We can all think of ways the medicos will try to avoid getting nailed down on the price such as with the creative coding used by some MDs I have consulted where if I even mention some topic they code it as a billable event.

Coping with "Medicare for all"

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I don’t know if it would necessarily make me go to a different hospital or clinic. There is a certain amount of trust, etc. that gets built up with a doctor if you visit regularly. However, it would be useful in making an informed decision when a choice is given. I use the analogy of a restaurant, when they ask me if I would like chicken on my salad. What they don’t tell you is that it changes your $7 salad into a $15 ‘entree’ by adding chicken.
Often you are presented with decisions like, for an injury would you get an xray or an MRI. The MRI would give us a better view, but if I knew how much it was going to cost, that would be nice to know in the decision.


A transparent list of actual cash prices instead of theoretical rack rate (chargemaster?) prices for cash payers would be nice.


That would great if you could whip out your phone and try and price match, but who would actually do that? especially during an emergency


This is a strawman. I have never needed emergency medical services. Have you? But I would have saved a lot of money if I could have price shopped for the colonoscopies, CT scan, lab tests and most other services I have paid through the nose for since I was self-employed and had a high deductible HSA policy.


Agreed. the vast majority of medical costs are non emergency, and even so, if you see one hospital has crazy ER rates, you can pick a health plan that covers a different one or tell your family so they know that one is your preferred hospital, etc.

More disclosure is a good thing for the customer, pretty much always.


You’re right that overall most expenses aren’t emergencies and we’d all potentially save a lot if we could easily price shop.


I don’t know if its necessarily / technically a strawman. Emergency medical needs happen daily. Yes I’ve paid them. Good for you if you haven’t. Some people might perceive that emergency spending is higher than it really is vs the non emergency costs. I bet 90% of my dads lifetime healthcare is for emergency spending. But he’s not the norm.

(edit : and then I read the whole thread and see xerty already made the next point…)
Also, we could potentially save money even for emergencies. If theres any choice in emergency room then you could find out which is cheaper in advance and ask to only go to that emergency room. A lot of emergencies don’t mean you’re unconscious and unable to pick Hospital A vs Hospital B.


Do you have a choice if you’re picked up by an ambulance? I thought dispatch tells them where to go. That said, many “emergencies” don’t require an ambulance, so your comment still holds.


I assume the specific rules depends on where you live. I’d also assume they take you to the nearest hospital or the designated hospital in a zone or city limits.

yeah I don’t think I’d take one unless I had no choice. I mean as long as were talking about saving money those glorified taxi rides cost $500-2000


You lead an unexciting life :slight_smile:

Yes, in my experience. The ambulance charges by the mile.