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Health Care Opinion Leaders' Views on Transparency and Pricing

Experts surveyed in the latest Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare Health Care Opinion Leaders Survey support moving away from the current method of negotiating health care payments—a complex system in which public and private health insurers each engage independently with multiple health care providers to negotiate or set payment rates with hospitals and physicians. The majority of opinion leaders (56%) support replacing this system with all-payer rate setting, in which a government authority would set the rates, or an all-payer system of jointly negotiating rates for all payers. Such a strategy could help reduce excess administrative expenses and wide variation in prices, note Commonwealth Fund researchers Kristof Stremikis, Karen Davis, and Stuart Guterman in a new data brief on the survey findings.

Opinion leaders also voiced broad support for creating a standard method of rewarding quality and efficiency across private insurers and public payers.

"The way we currently pay for health care leads to unnecessary confusion and wide variation, and sometimes borders on chaotic," said Karen Davis. "Experts agree that if private payers and public programs could come together and agree to pay the same way, and the same amount, we can improve the efficiency of our health care system, eliminate administrative waste, and create better experiences for patients."

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