May 10, 2022, Madison, WI– Hospital prices have become one of the biggest pain-points for employers when it comes to their ever-rising health care costs, and the Employers’ Forum of Indiana hosted employer groups to join their day-long Hospital Price Transparency Conference to address the issue. In a boon to employers and their employees and family members, two new transparency tools were released at the conference, and The Alliance is currently reviewing how employers in Wisconsin and Illinois can best use them.
Gloria Sachdev, CEO of Employers’ Forum of Indiana, unveiled Sage Transparency, a public tool that combines actual prices paid by employers, commercial breakeven prices, and hospital quality ratings from several data sources to inform honest conversations about hospital price and quality.
Marylyn Bartlett, Senior Policy Fellow at the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), showcased NASHP’s Hospital Cost Tool, which identifies financial benchmarks using Medicare Cost Reports (MCRs) from 4,600 hospitals over 10 years of data reporting. MCRs provide hospital-specific data and are the only national, public source of hospital costs currently available.
Both tools utilize information from RAND’s Hospital Price Transparency Study.
RAND 3.0 displayed how much hospitals were reimbursed by commercial payers in aggregate for inpatient and outpatient hospital services, finding that employers in Wisconsin and Illinois pay nearly three times as much as Medicare pays for the same services at the same facilities.
The fourth phase of the study, RAND 4.0 – which will release next week – was teased by RAND Corporation’s Chris Whaley at the conference. It will show that Wisconsin pays the 2nd highest professional fees and 4th highest inpatient and outpatient fees compared to Medicare. RAND 4.0 will also include data from more all-payer claims databases, ambulatory surgery centers, and include COVID-19 hospitalization prices.
Whaley will unveil RAND 4.0 and what it means for Wisconsin and Illinois employers at The Alliance’s Spring Symposium on May 23, 2022. Sachdev will join Whaley at the in-person event and will present how employers can use value-based payment strategies to promote better value from hospitals.
The Alliance serves as the voice for self-funded employers who want more control over their health care costs. They provide transparent, creative approaches to network and benefit plan design to unlock savings where others can’t – or won’t – using Smarter Networks℠ and sophisticated data mining and analysis. The Alliance remains a trusted, objective partner for its 300+ employers and their brokers who seek improved access to high-quality health care through a network of 34,000 health care providers and doctors across the Midwest.
Learn more about The Alliance’s Spring Symposium, the speakers, and event agenda.