AUSTIN—Today, the Texas Public Policy Foundation commends the announcement by the Trump Administration to return focus on patients by making healthcare more transparent.

“Unknown and obscured prices are unique to healthcare and the lack of information limits the ability of the patient and employer to choose the best value for the service they need in non-emergent situations,” said David Balat, director of Right on Healthcare at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Administration is bringing more healthcare price and quality transparency for American patients by implementing the following:

  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will require hospitals to publicly disclose amounts that reflect what people actually pay for services in an easy-to-read format.
  • At President Trump’s direction, HHS will begin the process of making information on out-of-pocket spending more readily available to patients before they receive care.
  • Researchers, innovators, and providers will get more access to data that will help them develop tools to provide patients with more information about healthcare prices and quality.
  • The Administration will improve quality measurements and make them public.
  • The President’s order also improves consumers’ incentives to shop for care by expanding the benefit of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other tax-preferred health accounts.

Healthcare is the leading issue that Americans want discussed. When asked which healthcare issues are most important to them, affordable pricing has consistently risen to the top. Affordability is a function of pricing and the way it reacts to market conditions. The absence of real pricing leaves those that use healthcare services with little to no information and therefore the inability to make choices and informed decisions.

According to research by Brian Blase, senior fellow with the Texas Public Policy Foundation, “This sunlight will likely pressure high-priced facilities to take steps to lower what are often bloated pricing structures.”