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AHIP Comments on Executive Order Proposing Disclosure of Negotiated Rates

Press Release

Published Jun 24, 2019 • by AHIP

Washington, D.C. – Matt Eyles, president and CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), issued this statement following the release of an executive order directing the Department of Health & Human Services to explore rules to require the disclosure of negotiated rates between health insurance providers and hospitals:

Everyone deserves affordable coverage, and we share the Administration’s commitment to making health care more affordable for every American. We also agree that patients should have accurate, real-time information about costs so they can make the best, most informed decisions about their care. But publicly disclosing competitively negotiated, proprietary rates will reduce competition and push prices higher – not lower – for consumers, patients, and taxpayers.

“As consumers’ bargaining power, health insurance providers work hard to negotiate lower prices, which result in lower premiums and costs. Competition experts, including the bipartisan Federal Trade Commission, agree that disclosing privately negotiated rates will reduce incentives to offer lower rates, creating a floor – not a ceiling – for the prices that hospitals would be willing to accept.

“Requiring price disclosure for thousands of hospital items, services and procedures perpetuates the old days of the American health care system paying for volume over value. We know that is a formula for higher costs and worse care for everyone. We should be accelerating our efforts to pay for health care based on value and quality.

“Consumers and patients can get meaningful help and a view into the costs they will pay for care through tools offered by health insurance providers, such as cost calculators. Consumers also have access to regular reports on where they are in meeting their deductibles and limits on out of pocket costs. We can work together with doctors, hospitals, employers, and other health care leaders to ensure that consumers know what information is available to them, and how to use that information to make decisions that are right for them and their families.

“The release of the executive order is just the beginning of an extended process, and we will engage collaboratively with the Administration and other health care stakeholders to find better solutions that decrease costs for everyone without undermining quality, choice, and value for the hardworking Americans we serve.”