Will the new transparency of healthcare costs really bring prices down?

The holiday shopping season is over and the healthcare shopping season is here. Since January 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has required all hospitals to post price tags for all goods and services. Even more guidelines and restrictions were implemented to bolster healthcare pricing transparency in January, including the recently passed No Surprises Act. Price transparency is meant to empower patients and reduce health care costs by incentivizing American capitalism to lower prices, a step toward fixing the broken system.

However, would you want to be treated by the cheapest or the best doctor? This has the potential to further expose disparities in care, as those with coverage will gravitate towards the most elite care while those with lower socio-economic status will have to settle for what they can. afford. Therefore, this has the potential to drive up prices rather than lower them, as health care presents a fallible paradox that higher prices equal better care.

Have you heard of all this reform? Few are aware of or have taken advantage of the new policies. If the public isn’t aware of these new policies or can’t find these price lists, is there really more transparency? The pandemic has skewed health care utilization, but only time will tell if these policies are empowering patients and reducing the country’s health spending burden, further dividing socioeconomic classes, or, in fact, not changing the already convoluted healthcare system of this country.

Rachel Eisenberg


MBA candidate, MD; Albany Medical College 2025

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