Background Paper

Health Care Price Transparency and Price Competition
March 28, 2007

Author

Mark Merlis, Consultant

Summary

Growing numbers of consumers are in health plans that give them incentives to be more cost-conscious. Yet complex pricing systems and limited information may make it hard to choose among providers and treatment options. This report examines steps that insurers and others have taken to make better price information available, possible government measures to further promote price transparency or to simplify price comparisons, and the likely effects on consumer behavior and provider competition.

Related Materials

See also "Meeting Employees' Information Needs in an Evolving Health Care Marketplace" (Background Paper, December 2001) and "The Fundamentals of Health Savings Accounts and High-Deductible Health Plans" (Background Paper, April 23, 2007).

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