Federal agencies may need to step in and tighten the rules of reference pricing before they cause more harm than good.
Reference pricing appeals to insurers on a multitude of levels. It not only helps offset rising healthcare costs, but the requirements are relatively lax. The concept may be sound, but the reality is that reference pricing raises issues regarding consumers' quality of and access to care, as well as possible discrimination against sick patients.
By Ron Shinkman The proliferation of medical options, the general consumerization of healthcare and higher out-of-pocket costs for patients put a greater demand on providers to be more transparent...
As more insurers implement reference pricing to help offset rising healthcare costs, the Department of Labor is deciding whether to change an Affordable Care Act provision that would alter how health plans calculate out-of-pocket costs related to the pricing method, Managed Care reported.
Although the practice of reference pricing helps emphasize the wide variation in medical costs, it doesn't actually decrease healthcare spending, according to a new report.
Self-insured employer groups' practice of reference pricing--capping payments for specific procedures--may not reap significant savings, according to a new study by the National Institute for Health Care Reform.
Reference pricing has been touted as a way to create provider competition in healthcare, but a recent Federal Trade Commission article argued this isn't the case.
While many health economists embrace reference pricing as a way to reduce rising healthcare costs, some consumer advocates are skeptical.
Many insurers use reference pricing to save money by directing people toward lower-cost providers, according to D Healthcare Daily.
How would economists lower healthcare spending while maintaining quality? Two prominent health economists and a fiscal expert looked into their economic toolboxes and recommended value-based purchasing reference pricing and defined contribution, The Hill reported.