Transparency is Key to Free-Market Cost Control

Competition over healthcare prices and quality is coming. Transparency and the radical redesign of health insurance benefits will be its handmaiden. Companies such as General Electric are leading the way.

Competition over healthcare prices and quality is coming. Transparency and the radical redesign of health insurance benefits will be its handmaiden. Companies such as General Electric are leading the way.

The conglomerate, after years of experimenting with wellness programs to reduce healthcare costs, has moved its 500,000 employees, future retirees and their dependents into a high-deductible healthcare plan.

To aid these workers and families, it downloaded patient cost and outcomes data (it self-insures, so access to the claims wasn't an issue) into a Web-based tool and mobile app that allows patients to compare provider prices and quality. It even employs health coaches in telephone call centers to help people make choices that suit their financial and medical needs.

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Source: Modern Healthcare