As President Trump and others know, healthcare policy is complicated. So when we attended the NCQA Quality Talks event this week and heard Dr. Joshua Liao of the University of Washington point out that the old adage “teaching a man to fish will feed him for a lifetime” is true only if he can get to the water where the fish are — it was a great way of explaining why value-based care metrics must include equity considerations. In other words, giving a patient a referral to a specialist won’t help him if he doesn’t have a means of transportation to get there. Got it. Helpful. We think the need for a powerful message is why a patient advocacy group (Power to the Patients) employed rapper Fat Joe to plea for hospitals to comply with the hospital price transparency rule — and for CMS to enforce it. He says, over an intense (ironic?) classical music score, “When we can’t see or compare prices, hospitals can charge us whatever they want…It’s not even legal, but nobody’s enforcing that law.” As Politico explained, the Fat Joe ad is about the federal price transparency rules for both hospitals and health plans that requires them to disclose their negotiated rates and the out-of-pocket costs for patients. In related news this week, the U.S. Department of Labor told health plans that they do NOT have to publish negotiated rates if they have a value-based payment arrangement with in-network providers that is too complicated to provide a meaningful dollar amount. We can’t wait to see which rapper can explain that one.
April 22, 2022 | 3 min read
April 22, 2022
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