5 ways to improve payer price transparency data

Payers can do more to improve the usability of price transparency data, a group of researchers wrote in Health Affairs. 

In an article published May 25, researchers at the Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health compared price transparency data files for seven major insurers. 

According to the analysis, almost half of the files in the analysis had duplicated pricing information. 

Another recent report published in Health Affairs found major payers price transparency files vary widely by size and number of billing codes. Cigna and Humana had significantly larger file sizes than Aetna and UnitedHealthcare. 

Here are the researcher's five recommendations for how payers can improve useability of their pricing data: 

  1. Avoid publishing duplicate pricing data
  2. Use only one type of provider identifier, preferably NPI 
  3. Summarize median, minimum and maximum prices for common shoppable services 
  4. Use meaningful pricing information, rather than percentages of list prices or other figures 
  5. Publish more complete drug pricing data 

Read more here. 

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