Employers could face legal risk if they don't use price transparency data

Insurer price transparency could be a double-edged sword for employers, Bloomberg reported March 8. 

Price transparency requirements that call for payers to disclose their negotiated rates with providers can illuminate costs for consumers, and give employers more information about where their employee benefit dollars go. 

But with more information comes more responsibility for employers to make sure their employees' money is spent wisely, groups representing employers told Bloomberg. 

"They now have the information they couldn't access before, but they also have to act on that," Elizabeth Mitchell, CEO of the Purchasers Business Group on Health, which represents large employers, told Bloomberg. 

Employers who don't act on price transparency information to ensure their employees get the best value for their money could face lawsuits, James Gelfand, president of the ERISA Industry Committee, a lobbying group for large companies, told Bloomberg. 

"Plan sponsors always had the responsibility not to waste the employees' money. But all the healthcare prices were secret," Mr. Gelfand said. 

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