Letter to the editor: Consumers want clarity on hospital costs
I read the article “Hospital price lists go public online” (Jan. 2, TribLIVE) on new hospital price transparency requirements with great interest. As a board member of Consumers for Quality Care (CQC), a coalition dedicated to patients and their right to affordable, high-quality health care, I champion any efforts to provide more clarity and help patients better understand their health care costs. Unfortunately, hospitals’ efforts to comply with the new federal mandate doesn’t go far in providing consumers with the clarity and transparency on hospital costs that recent CQC research reveals 76 percent of Americans want, nor is it likely to provide any information to help ease their frustration about hospital fees and unexpected bills.
Consumers looking for tools they can use to take health care into their own hands should visit www.cutconsumercosts.org, a campaign recently launched by CQC to encourage higher-quality, lower-cost consumer health care, while hospitals should take a shot at providing information consumers can actually use.