Setting the stage for new public reporting standard for calculating health care prices

Washington D.C., October 25, 2016 – In support of the Health Care Cost Institute’s (HCCI) expanding healthcare transparency initiatives, HCCI today announced that it is prepared to license the care bundling methodology used in Guroo.com to public and private organizations that partner with HCCI to pursue health care transparency. The goal is to foster a standard way of calculating health care prices that will allow consumers to more accurately compare costs across providers as they shop for health care. The care bundles, for nearly 300 common conditions, capture the services, tests or procedures associated with treating a condition.

“There is a groundswell at the local, state and federal levels for increased transparency for health care information, but that is only possible if consumers are able to access apples-to-apples comparisons across health care providers, facilities and states,” said David Newman, executive director of HCCI. “By making these care bundles available to public and private organizations interested in promoting health care transparency, we are taking a big step forward in creating a common methodology that will enable more consumers to access meaningful, actionable price information.” The care bundling logic will also be available to researchers using HCCI’s large database of commercial health claims.

Health care providers, hospitals, employers, and state or federal agencies that partner with HCCI will gain access to the care bundle methodology for public purposes, including developing all payer claims data bases (APCD), at no charge. This is one of the largest collections of health care cost bundle algorithms available for public purposes. Coupled with Guroo.com, states now have an off-the shelf solution to health care transparency. Interested health care stakeholders can contact David Newman, at dnewman@healthcostinstitute.org or call 202-803-5200 regarding this solution.

“Now states and others have access to a powerful, common, comprehensive set of bundling algorithms that will permit them to calculate prices in a transparent manner”, said David Newman. “States with multi-state health care markets will be able to calculate prices consistently. This will allow consumers in Connecticut to compare their state’s prices with prices in neighboring Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York, or residents of Delaware to compare prices in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Maryland.”

Making care bundles more widely available will also allow HCCI to enhance the transparency of guroo.com, its consumer-focused website that provides national, state and local cost information. The website is free and accessible to everyone, regardless of whether they have insurance or who their insurer is. Guroo was created to give consumers information on the costs and quality of health care so they can make more informed choices about how they spend their health care dollars.

About the Health Care Cost Institute
The Health Care Cost Institute was launched in 2011 to promote independent, nonpartisan research and analysis on the causes of the rise in U.S. health spending. HCCI holds one of the largest databases for the commercially insured population and in 2014, became the first national Qualified Entity (QE) entitled to hold Medicare data. For more information, visit www.healthcostinstitute.org or follow us on Twitter @healthcostinst.

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