Benefits buyers say the federal government should require health care providers to publish cost and quality information – and insurers to publish actual discounted health care prices.
Researchers at United Benefit Advisors, Indianapolis, have published those results in a summary of results of a recent survey of 1,094 U.S. employers.
The researchers found employers have mixed emotions about their own role and the role of government.
Only 13% of the survey participants disagreed or strongly disagreed with the statement, “We should provide health care benefits to our employees and dependents,” and only 11.5% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, “Employees should bear the bulk of future health care cost increases,” 81% agreed that the most obvious change in the future will be that, “Costs will shift more to employees.”
Only 28% of the participants said the federal government should respond to health coverage problems by setting up a universal, taxpayer-funded health care system, but only 31% of the participants said they want to limit the ability of the state and federal government to create benefits mandates.
Health insurance groups and employer groups have opposed universal health care proposals but have been strong supporters of mandate curbs.
UBA researchers found that survey participants were strong supporters of government efforts to increase health care system information disclosure: 86% of participants want the federal government to mandate quality reporting by hospitals and physicians; 78% want the federal government to require doctors and hospitals to publicly disclose prices; and 76% want insurers to publicly disclose actual discounted prices paid to providers.
“Employers are clearly fed up with being denied access to the cost and quality information that both employers and employees need and deserve in order to make informed health care purchasing decisions in advance of receiving care,” David LoCascio, UBA co-founder, says in a statement about the survey results. “Everyone has been relegated to simply paying for health care rather than being allowed to purchase health care the same way they purchase a home, a car, or any other goods or services.”