Dr Karen van Caulil on Florida's Attempts to Improve Healthcare Cost Transparency

Florida has not been very good with healthcare cost transparency in the past, but there have been many new programs and tools introduced in order to remedy that, explained Karen van Caulil, PhD, president and CEO of the Florida Health Care Coalition.

Florida has not been very good with healthcare cost transparency in the past, but there have been many new programs and tools introduced in order to remedy that, explained Karen van Caulil, PhD, president and CEO of the Florida Health Care Coalition.

Transcript (slightly modified)

How has Florida improved cost transparency for consumers? And what more would you like to see done?

Well, Florida hasn’t had very good grades from the Catalyst for Payment Reform over the last couple of years; in fact, it scored an F in healthcare cost transparency, by their assessment. And so there’s been a good amount of effort in a very recent time period to improve that.

The Agency for Healthcare Administration in Florida has had a website called Florida Health Finder for many years, and it has some cost and quality information from hospitals and ambulatory care providers, but it has been rather limited. The Florida Hospital Association, however, put a new tool together on a website called missiontocare.org and it’s pretty user-friendly. Consumers are able to compare providers by condition on cost and quality, and it’s a start. The 50 most common conditions are within that database—it’s conditions without complications or comorbidities so it is limited, but they’re using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and CMS and Florida Agency for Health Care Administration data and it’s a big step in the right direction.

And then right now, as we speak, Florida’s legislature, both the House and the Senate, have bills on finally having an all-payer claims database, and the governor has identified a budget line item, 5 million dollars, in the coming year to start that process. So they’re just going back and forth as they normally do in language related to the bill, but I’m really encouraged that we’ll finally be able to have an all-payer claims database.