President Donald Trump on Monday signed an executive order to improve the price and quality transparency in health care. According to the president, patients deserve to know the cost of health care procedures before they receive treatment
"We’re here to announce new groundbreaking actions that we’re taking to dramatically increase quality, affordability, and fairness to our healthcare system," President Trump said during the signing ceremony. “We believe the American people have a right to know the price of services before they go to visit the doctor. Therefore, in a just a few moments, I’ll be signing a breakthrough executive order. It will create unprecedented transparency about healthcare prices and provide this information to the American people for the first time ever.”
Under the order, the Department of Health and Human Services will: :
• Require hospitals to publish prices for their services in a clear and straightforward manner.
• Federal agencies will inform patients about difference in price and quality of care.
According to Trump, the price transparency will create greater competition "and the cost of healthcare will go way, way down.”
But it's not just about price. It's about the quality of care.
“Currently, patients do not have adequate tools to find the doctors who would deliver better health outcomes at an affordable cost," Trump said.
The president also took a jab at Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who has advocated for Medicare For All.
"As we fight to increase transparency and lower costs for patients, more than 120 Democrats in Congress support Bernie Sanders’ socialist takeover of American healthcare. It’s very dangerous. The Democrat plan would terminate the private health insurance of over 180 million Americans who are really happy with what they have. Under my administration, we will never let that happen.”
The executive order has received mixed reaction.
"Today patients don't have access to prices or choices or even ability to see quality," Cynthia Fisher, founder of Patient Rights Advocate told NPR. "I think the exciting part of this executive order is the President and administration are really moving to put the patient in the driver's seat and be empowered for the first time with knowledge and information."
"Publicly disclosing competitively negotiated, proprietary rates will reduce competition and push prices higher — not lower — for consumers, patients, and taxpayers," said Matt Eyles, CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans in a statement. He says it will perpetuate "the old days of the American health care system paying for volume over value. We know that is a formula for higher costs and worse care for everyone."