Price and Quality Transparency

Health care prices have increased rapidly in recent years and the current trend is not sustainable. Colorado Hospital Association and its members hold a deep commitment to furthering transparency and affordability in health care. Patients should know before, during and after their health care visit what their cost and financial responsibility will be.

CHA has adopted the Healthcare Financial Management Association’s (HFMA) guidelines for price transparency, which state that transparency should be meaningful, consumer-oriented, easy to understand and paired with other information to define the value of services and not just the price. This is because, while price is undeniably important, quality and outcomes matter just as much.

It is important to note that transparency is not the end-all, be-all solution to this issue but is rather a means to an end: affordable, accessible, high-quality health care for all.

​Health care costs continue to be a source of concern for many Americans. The current system is likely unsustainable, and stakeholders from public payers to providers are looking for new solutions. However, these solutions will only be effective if they are able to target the correct sources of cost growth and provide viable alternatives. As such, it is essential to untangle the incredibly complicated economics of health care in Colorado and the nation.

Colorado Hospital Association commissioned CHI to develop this question-and-answer document on seven basic but important questions that often emerge in health policy discussions. The goal is to provide a basic understanding of several elements of the health care landscape to foster dialogue on steps Colorado can take to address its health care challenges.

Enhanced transparency is an important tool to help improve health care affordability, but transparency is not sufficient on its own. The complexities of the health care system are multifaceted, and a much broader system-wide effort must take place in order to successfully address the rising costs of health care in the long-run.