Lipinski bill aims to increase transparency on health care costs

Lipinski bill aims to increase transparency on health care costs

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Western Springs, speaks with the Herald-News on Friday, Aug. 17, 2018, in Joliet, Ill.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski introduced legislation last week which aims to increase transparency on health care costs and give patients more information about the value of their care.

Lipinski, D-Western Springs, said his Transparency and Accountability in Health Care Costs and Prices Act of 2020, H.R. 6004, would help more states to establish, maintain or expand a database on relevant health care claims, according to a news release.

Some patients in other states with All-Payer Claims Database (APCDs) are able to use the tool for price comparison. Policy makers in those states who oversee insurance companies have also used APCDs to keep premium growth in check, Lipinski’s office said in the release.

The congressman conceded in the release there was “much work to be done” to lower health care costs, but that his legislation is a “step in the right direction.”

“More transparency is good not only for individual patients, but the general public and policymakers as well,” Lipinski said in the release. “More transparency can help every participant in our healthcare system – including patients, referring providers, health plans, and policymakers – understand and push for lower health costs in an informed way.”

Lipinski added his bill would help encourage competition and drive down “skyrocketing” health care prices.

The legislation would authorize $100 million in funding to help states establish, maintain or expand APCDs and start generating comprehensive data for patients and providers to use.

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