WASHINGTON, April 9, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, representatives from AARP, Aetna, the Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, Novo Nordisk, and the National Consumers League launched the Clear Choices Campaign. This coalition of consumers, healthcare providers, and industry will advocate for more transparent, accountable, and consumer-friendly health markets.
"Our members come from all sides of the political debate," said Joel White, President of Clear Choices. "But we all agree that consumers should have access to affordable health care -- and that transparency will enhance choice and competition to make healthcare more affordable."
The Campaign is focused on policies that provide better tools for consumers to make informed health decisions, better data to power those tools and better markets to use the tools in. Among the Campaign's priorities are:
- More transparency on the federal and state-based health insurance exchanges, including searchable online prescription drug formularies, detailed provider directories, and clearer summaries of benefits.
- Better up-front information on the price, cost, quality, and safety of healthcare providers and their services. Consumers need and want to know which doctor is best or charges the least before having a procedure done.
- Better measures of quality in federal and state healthcare programs. For consumers to have good information, they must have good measures. Right now, 90 percent of quality measures are focused on underuse of health services and are burdensome on providers to report. Prioritizing the measures to ensure a mix related to overuse, underuse, and misuse will ensure a more complete picture of provider performance and allow consumers to have better information at their fingertips.
- More and better data to power technology tools that empower comparison shopping and informed consumers. For example, Clear Choices is advocating for Medicare and Medicaid to share their data with the experts so that physicians and researchers can identify what procedures work best for different patients. Thirty-seven organizations affiliated with Clear Choices wrote Congress to request that any efforts to reform Medicare's Sustainable Growth Rate -- the so-called "Doc Fix" -- authorize such data-sharing. And the bill did.
"We racked up a legislative win before we officially launched," said White.
Clear Choices' members include consumer advocates, insurers, pharmaceutical companies, employers, and doctor groups. All are committed to empowering consumers with the information needed to make wise healthcare decisions and eliminate wasteful healthcare spending.
"As consumers take more responsibility for healthcare decision-making, the demand for personalized, accurate information on healthcare costs and quality is gaining momentum," said Chris Riedl of Aetna. "Aetna fully supports the efforts of Clear Choices to help promote clarity for consumers and empower them to become more engaged in their health care."
Better healthcare transparency will not only empower consumers, but it will lower health costs.
"Up to $8 trillion of the $40 trillion the United States will spend on health care over the next decade will pay for unnecessary services or to treat preventable conditions," said Andrew Scholnick, Senior Legislative Representative from AARP. "Our nation can't afford such waste. To ensure the sustainability of programs like Medicare -- and our entire economy -- we must capitalize on the power of data to create a more functional healthcare system."
For more information please contact Sandra Ramos at (202) 471-4228 ext.115 or email.
About Clear Choices
The Clear Choices Campaign (http://www.clearchoicescampaign.org) is a new consumer-industry coalition, dedicated to making health markets more transparent, accountable and consumer-friendly. Doing so will not only empower consumers, it will improve quality, improve health outcomes and lower health costs. Clear Choices is part of the Council for Affordable Health Coverage (www.cahc.net).
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SOURCE Clear Choices Campaign