Baucus plan takes on ‘secret pricing’

The Associated Press’ Carla K. Johnson reports that a provision of Sen. Max Baucus’ health reform plan has brought attention to the “secret pricing” model that dominates in the health care system. According to Johnson, the Baucus bill would not only require hospitals to list standard charges for each procedure up front, it would also “require health plans to report how much of each dollar paid in premiums goes to items other than medical care.”

Maine and New Hampshire already provide online cost-comparison tools, and Johnson quotes a scientist at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality as saying such information “ought to be available on a more widespread basis.”

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