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American College of Physicians Highlights the Need for Increased Transparency; HAP’s Care in PA Provides Quality and Price Transparency in Pennsylvania

November 21, 2017

A recently released report from the American College of Physicians (ACP) recognizes transparency efforts to mend the fragmentation of health care.

The report provides nine recommendations to improve transparency to address cost and quality challenges. Recommendations range from out-of-pocket price cost estimators to consumer billing and price transparency efforts to reduce the risk of surprise bills for out-of-network services.

Tools that promote health care transparency, especially with the increased in the insured population, can serve as an important component to mend fragmentation of the U.S. health care system by providing more access to meaningful information to all health care stakeholders, including patients, payers, and providers. Pennsylvania has seen more than 1.1 million residents gain access to care services through the Affordable Care Act provisions, including more than 700,000 through Medicaid expansion.

The Pennsylvania hospital community is working to provide more information to Pennsylvanians to reduce barriers in access and care coordination.

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania’s Care in Pennsylvania, the health care consumer-friendly website, continues to be a useful Pennsylvania-specific resource for health care terminology, quality, and price information. The website has recently updated quality and price information for federal fiscal year 2016.

Care in Pennsylvania was released in December of last year. Since then, Pennsylvanians have continued to use the website to learn about health care in their communities. By collecting data from Hospital Compare, produced by the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), Care in Pennsylvania provides an easy to use website that equips Pennsylvanians with information to take a more active role in their health care decisions.

On the website, consumers have access to:

  • Evidence-based health care reports
  • Relevant quality and consumer assessment data
  • Demographic information for outpatient, general acute, and post-acute health care facilities in Pennsylvania
  • Consumer-friendly health care terminology and definitions
  • Links to additional health care quality resources

HAP’s website acknowledges the leading role Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems have taken in the health care transparency movement. With nearly half of all U.S. adults having difficulty understanding and using health information, HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems will continue to work with the Pennsylvania Library Association and other stakeholders to provide resourceful information for Pennsylvanians to consume. The Care in Pennsylvania website and the HAP consumer website will continue to serve as educational resources for consumers to learn more about health care in their communities.

The data provided on the Care in Pennsylvania should be viewed as a snapshot of information, and should by no means be considered the only source of information. Care in Pennsylvania can be used in support of conversations with your local provider. HAP will continue to update this community resource as more current and relevant data becomes available.

For more information, contact Phillip Burrell, HAP’s director, research and data analytics.

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