Health Cost Transparency: NH > MA

Good read here from the Pioneer Institute discussing how Massachusetts’ health cost transparency initiatives are seemingly more form than substance.  It’s neighbor to the north, New Hampshire, has been gaining more and more recognition for its efforts when it comes to empowering consumers to engage in price discovery across facilities.

Pioneer article:

When we applied for the NH public claims file I was dreading that we’d be faced with the same long, drawn-out process we faced in MA.  Much to our delight, the process consisted of literally a ONE-PAGE application.  The folks working at the Department of Health and Human Services were also nice enough to put up with numerous inquiries from us.

What have we done with the NH data?  Check it out here:

Our next step is to link individual provider data to each procedure listed in our database.  We will do this by leveraging our existing federal open data and integrating it with the NH data.  The cost data at the provider level will be 2013 original Medicare pricing, not private plan pricing.

Once we do that we can run some analysis to assess if there is a tight correlation between the relative pricing charged at facilities between the Medicare rates and private rates.  That will be interesting….

The final frontier for us?  Allow providers to claim their profile and list cash prices.  #boom

The growth in high deductible plans means consumers can take advantage of health savings accounts.  The problem today is still one of transparency.  So while HSAs are God’s gift to legal tax avoidance, the relative cost of procedures is still so stark that consumers are still at risk of making uninformed healthcare consumption decisions.

Hope you check out our NH content.  It’s a starting point for us and one on which we hope to build and improve.

– Carl

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