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The Alliance Employers moving health care forward

In continuing our initiative towards greater transparency in health care, The Alliance, Business Health Care Group (BHCG), and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) came together to discuss the results of the RAND Hospital Price Transparency Study in Wisconsin.

For this study, RAND Corporation used 2016 to 2018 data from all but one state in the United States, covering $23.7 billion in hospital spending from three sources—self-funded employers, state-based all payer claims databases, and health plans. Wisconsin self-funded employers contributed the largest volume of data to the study of all the states participating.

Here are some of the topics we covered:

  • Why transparency matters
  • Commercial inpatient and outpatient hospital prices in Wisconsin compared to hospitals nationally
  • How commercial hospital prices in Wisconsin compared with Medicare reimbursement rates
  • The variation in pricing among hospitals in Wisconsin
  • The relationship between hospital prices and quality of care
  • How employers can use study results to become better-informed purchasers of health benefits
  • How you can supply your data for RAND 4.0

About The Featured Presenter:

Christopher Whaley

Christopher Whaley is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research focuses on using large-scale medical claims data to examine how information and financial incentives influence patient’s choice of providers, how providers respond to changes in consumer incentives, and how employers and insurers can design insurance benefits to promote value.

His research has been published in a variety of clinical, health policy, and economics journals. He is the lead author of a JAMA paper that examines the effects of online price transparency information. This paper was a finalist for the 2015 National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation Annual Health Care Research Award. He also received the 2015 AHRQ Research Conference Director’s Award for a paper published in JAMA Internal Medicine that examines the effect of reference pricing on consumer choice of providers for cancer screening services.

Christopher received a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in health economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

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